Google Sells Review Site Zagat To The Infatuation

Google is selling off the restaurant recommendation service Zagat, about seven years after acquiring it for around $151 million.

It’s difficult to say whether the new owner will have much better luck bringing it back to its glory days -- considering the newcomers that have come in to take its place.

Google bought Zagat in 2011 with hopes of integrating it with Google+ and serving restaurant reviews in its search results.

Reporting on the acquisition, The New York Times names The Infatuation as the buyer.

The Infatuation, a profitable review site founded nine years ago by former music execs Chris Stang and Andrew Steinthal, hasn’t had it easy. While the site offers global opinions, it focuses on a couple of cities such as London, New York, Sydney and Rome.

While review sites like Yelp have found more of a niche for provoking consumer opinion, The Infatuation uses an in-house team of reviewers to write up restaurant reviews in the major cities.  



Reports suggest the new owners will keep Zagat as a separate brand and entrench it in technology similar to the way it was done with The Infatuation. The plan is to use it as “a user-generated-content counterpart to The Infatuation. “One possibility is integrating Zagat’s content into other products and platforms,” per the report.

Google really doesn’t need a separate site for restaurant reviews. On Monday, the company announced that its app for iOS now supports an iMessage extension to help people search and share GIFs, restaurants and videos when messaging friends.

Those searching for reviews only need to tap on the icon for “Food” or “Nearby” to share favorite locations or perform a search and share a card directly into the conversation.

Tapping on the restaurant card takes the searcher to the Google Search page where they can look up the busiest times, as well as menus and reviews. Reviews live in the Google search results.

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