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Google announced this morning that it has acquired the food rating site Zagat.
"Moving forward, Zagat will be a cornerstone of our local offering--delighting people with their impressive array of reviews, ratings and insights," said Marissa Mayer, VP of Local, Maps and Location Services, in a blog post this morning on Google's official BlogSpot. "I'm incredibly excited to collaborate with Zagat to bring the power of Google search and Google Maps to their products and users."
Zagat, which has been around for 32 years, is well-known for its restaurant ratings. Its reviews and ratings are based on consumer surveys, and there's even a pocket book available for purchase that details the best places to dine and drink at within your city. The reviews are based on a 30 point scale.
This might seem like an effort to aid restaurant goers in scoping out a place to eat (or relate to picky urban foodies who need reassurance that the place they're dining at is actually the best), but Google Places could sure use a revamp. It's currently one of the main competitors against Yelp for user-submitted reviews, but could easily become the premiere service for restaurant reviews because of Zagat's long-standing legacy. Users have increasingly echoed their frustrations with Yelp's skewed reviews, and since Zagat actually processes each consumer survey before it marks up the find tally, there's more consideration that goes into restaurant ratings. It'll be interesting to see how Google uses this new acquisition in conjunction with its existing services.