While cutting down few projects in last few weeks, Google is adding new armour in its portfolio. Last week it bought Zave Networks for deals and coupons http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/09/fall-spring-clean.html . Today, Google bought Zagat which provides reviews mainly on restaurants. This is a bad news for Yelp which is preparing for IPO. Google tried to buy Yelp at 500 million however it was rejected. Since then there are ups and down relationship between them. For example, Google added Yelp results in local searches however it added its Google Places related button in the results such a way the user would go to Google places. Yelp had complained about it. Now, Google added Zagat for reviews and ratings. As per Zagat’s blog, Zagat has established a trusted and well-loved brand the world over, operating in 13 categories and more than 100 cities. It has more than 350,000 surveyors. Zagat established in 1979 and went through different market and focus. It has been trying to encash this new value of social and crowd intelligence. It had put up itself for sell at around $200 million but it seems that it is sold under 60million. It is still a huge amount. Especially when the real value is coming from its content that is populated freely by public. Content is the king! Big Data Zindabad!
Anyway, back to Google! With Google places, Google Reviews (Zagat) and Google Offers + Google Deals (Zavo), google is now positioned much better in completing its local services. With mobile apps, it can very well provide local contextual searches – offers – and of course, advertisements! and make money.
With Google APIs for various these services and possibly Google widgets , Google would be able to help in mobile, local, and social commerce.