After 100+ Acquisitions, Google Finally Buys a Content Company: Zagat

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Today, Google announced that they'd purchased the restaurant review company, Zagat. Terms were not disclosed. Apparently, the Zagat review database will be the core content on Google's local pages. 

Moving forward, Zagat will be a cornerstone of our local offering--delighting people with their impressive array of reviews, ratings and insights, while enabling people everywhere to find extraordinary (and ordinary) experiences around the corner and around the world. 
I guess this explains why Google deemphasized Yelp's content on the Google Local pages.

All around, this is a fascinating move. Google has previously shied away from making its own content, preferring to aggregate a la Google News. In fact, not a single one of Googles 100-plus acquisitions was a content company. Zagat, though, is a pure content play and there's no getting around that. The convergence of every media, technology, and electronics company takes one more small step. 

It's probably worth noting, as Google did, that Zagat is the original user-generated content offering. Their reviews are made up of snippets of real human reviews instead of one expert's take.

There is one other microangle here, too. Ted Zagat, son of the company's founders and president of the family business from 1999 to 2007, works for Facebook. That should make for an interesting Thanksgiving dinner.
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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is the deputy editor of TheAtlantic.com. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer has called Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science website in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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