Google paid 151 million for Zagat- reviews will be integrated into search:
How will this change search?
In a regulatory filing this week, Google said it paid 151 Million for acquiring the food review site Zagat. Consolidation has been ripe in and around the food online industry recently with companies vying for more clicks. Acquiring Zagat allows Google to integrate reviews into Google Maps search results with an impact that may be similar to some Google Places results.
As an online food and general web analytics/mobile consultant, I know personally the impact that reviews have on helping people choose where to eat – it’s extremely important. Zagat is similar to Yelp with an extensive listing of reviews which could be a defining factor in whether a restaurant gets the customer on the margin that is indecisive. Various food ordering and menu sites already have reviews but most of them don’t include reviews in an easy – persuasive way that allows consumers to make quick decisions or the company sites aren’t transparent which could help users get more choices. It will be interesting to see if more consolidation occurs in the industry and already smaller- niche geo- targeted food related websites and mobile apps are coming to the fore that will take market share from the larger “come one come all” sites- InterSearchMedia is working with one now. If Google can get spillover effects from the Zagat purchase and wrap this into an ordering site – it could be game changing.