Google giving Zagat more attention with new site, mobile apps

Summary:The addition of Zagat to Google services such as Maps, Plus and Now hasn't quite lived up to any expectations that it would really provide heated competition with Yelp or even Foursquare.

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Google's acquisition history is made up of some incredible smart decisions (see: Android) and then some more questionable ones (see: Motorola Mobility).

Chances are that Google's 2011 purchase of Zagat, once a formidable and go-to travel and recommendations brand, falls somewhere in the middle.

Certainly, Zagat's international library of restaurants, hotels, and other points-of-interest lends both extra meat and credibility to Google Maps search results.

But the addition of Zagat to Google services such as Maps, Plus and Now hasn't quite lived up to any expectations that it would really provide heated competition with Yelp or even Foursquare.

Perhaps some extra love and attention will give Google's rendition of Zagat a much-needed boost.

Gannon Hall, group product manager and head of the Zagat team, explained further in a blog post on Monday that the new spin for Zagat moves farther from just user reviews but rather toward curated content and "expert local editors."

With a new desktop portal as well as iPhone and Android versions, Hall also emphasized that the new Zagat is also making its ratings and reviews available for free without registration for the the first time ever.

Zagat now covers restaurants and nightlife in nine cities. The team is promising to expand coverage to at least 50 U.S. and international destinations in the coming months.

For a closer look at the revamped Zagat, check out the promo clip below:

Image via The Official Google Blog

Topics: Mobility, Android, Apps, Google, Smartphones

About

Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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