Google Buys Reviews via Zagat Buy!
And looks like Google itself agrees with you, cause as of this morning, they just bought Zagat the well known, respected, review machine that’s been around for more than 30 years.
Here’s how Zagat themselves spoke about their own raison d’etre –
“Zagat Survey® is a business based on a simple premise – that the shared opinions of thousands of avid consumers with real experiences are inherently more accurate than the opinions of just one or two critics. Through our guides, we give people the power of a collective voice and the information to make smart decisions…”
As you can see from the screenshot clip here below, this is what was just announced for the world to see….layered on top of course of the Google sculpture at their campus in California…
Okay, so what, right? I mean Google buys up firms all the time, right? Well here’s how it was stated by Google via a post on their own blog…and well…yes…I hear you…but here’s how I see this spin!
Google bases it’s Local Search rankings in part on reviews. Reviews are what folks write about restaurants, dry cleaners, auto body shops, locksmiths….all the companies and businesses that people use every day. And that database of reviews, 30+ years of reviews, is now Googles. To use as they see fit and to add to the Local Search rankings algo as they see fit.
So…see what I mean here? Google will undoubtedly give much much more “weight & heft” to the new Zagat reviews as it incorporates same into the ranking algo – and by doing so, it will rank it’s own Zagat reviews higher – in my opinion – than anyone elses reviews, except perhaps for it’s ex-HotPot generated ones & it’s Google+ ones too. Google has, with it’s checkbook, bought the reviews that it needed to spin away from the recent talks with YELP to buy them and their reviews. Google also recently bought into the travel channel too via it’s acquisition of ITA.
Big checkbooks buy the competition – it’s always been known to be a strong player in M&A circles, and now by buying Zagat, Google has it’s 30+ years of reviews to now use to rank it’s Local Search channel…good in fact for the review channel itself….and yup, I too had the same thought. Gotta change some biz names to match what exists already in the Zagat guide, and see if that kind of SEO spam might work!