Google has once again launched the Zagat website zagat.com as well as Zagat mobile app for iPhone and Android after discontinuing the Google+ Local iOS mobile app. The company had stated that similar content was already available for iOS through Google Maps.
Users need not register for Zagat and all available content is for free. Even though Google Maps does offer most of the content from Zagat, they are still quite different. Zagat will be initially offer information on restaurants and other nightlife hotspots in 9 cities that will spread to 50 cities in the USA and other countries around the globe in coming months.
Google had purchased Zagat around 2 years ago and paid over $100 million for its acquisition. The brand itself is over 3 decades old and Google seems to be making a real effort to resurrect it once again. Zagat scores have already been considered in Google Maps as well as in local search results. However, unless Google can use them as Google scores, the value of those scores will not be enhanced.
While Google has moved to merge social data, recommendations, discovery, and personalization into Google Maps, Zagat’s strength lies in its strong and trusted editorial content. The new Zagat app offers curated content along with editorial reviews and lists stating Top results.
Google seems to have seriously considered competing with Yelp along with TripAdvisor and even Facebook by offering similar content through the revived app and site. Google may also phase out Zagat print books within the next couple of years. However, killing Zagat print books may end up dealing a fatal blow to the Zagat brand in case this re-launch fails to achieve its intended aims.