Google on Monday announced relaunching the Zagat Web site along with its iPhone and Android apps. For the first time, it’s also offering free access to the venerable restaurant review and ratings site with no registration required.
The updated version of Zagat, which Google acquired in 2011 to upgrade its local listings, initially focuses on nine cities: Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Austin, Texas. But it plans to expand that total to more than 50 U.S. and international destinations, as well as areas like shopping and hotels, in the coming months.
“The new Zagat features the latest news and video content from our expert local editors, curated lists (think 10 Hidden Restaurant Gardens Around DC”) powerful search and map-based browsing to help you find the local gems,” stated Gannon Hall, group product manager and head of Zagat, in a blog post Monday.
Google already incorporates Zagat scores and reviews into Google Maps and search results. But the updated app serves as more of a curated guide for travelers and others that look to Zagat as a trusted source for recommendations and ratings. It’s also another way for Google to compete with location-based services like Yelp and Foursquare with more in-depth content.