As of yesterday the 32 year old business, Zagat just got acquired by a company that goes by the name Google (famous for search rankings and also taking over the world). What does this mean to small business owners you ask?
Sources report that Google paid around $200 Million to get Zagat, a very moderate price considering that they were going to pay upwards of $500M for Yelp in 2009.
In addition to Yelp, there are quite a few players in the restaurant review business (local.com, City Search, Trip Advisor, amongst many others). They are all in some ways or another similar in that they publish direct surveys from people who experienced a particular venue.
What makes Zagat is that they aggregate all the surveys/reviews together to make one final consensus that summarizes everyone’s opinion.
Since Google Places is already a great resource for business owners and patrons alike, the combo of Zagat in the mix could be very interesting! We’ll see what happens but overall I believe this means more options for small businesses.
One thing to note is that Google is famous for taking over BIG businesses and then dropping them in the wind, so this could really go either way, we’ll just have to wait and see! Feel free to share your thoughts on the matter below.