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.