In the race of all top online search engines, Google once again dominates as the number one Internet search leader, especially after its' recent purchase of Zagat.
Zagat Survey LLC, a well-reputed source of restaurant, hotel and destination ratings/reviews sells at an estimated price of $125 million. The exact value is not disclosed.
In 2000, the 32-year old company founded by Tim and Nina Zagat, put itself in the markets for an asking price of $200 million. However, by 2008, no buyers came forward to meet the demand and so they decided to take themselves off the market.
This bittersweet exchange from Zagat's side sheds light on many of its initiatives. The recent deal shows that Google has an interest in creating business within other sites by collecting data and then integrating the information based on the responses received.
This is not to say that the Internet giant has not experimented with other links in the past. In fact, on Google Maps you can find links of Zagat reviews in "place pages", but clearly with this buy, there will only be more that people can find.
Dan Olds, an analyst at The Gabriel Consulting Group confirms this notion: "Zagat will play a prominent role in Google's overall plans for becoming a player in travel, entertainment and particularly deals."
As Google inches towards perfection, it seems as if it could be one of the highest online travel planners as well. With Google Places, Maps, Hotel Finder, and free voice-guided directions on the Android phone, there is nothing that hasn't been covered. (Although only a matter of time before Google's next "business deal" opens other doors".
Apparently, business owners around the world are wrinkling their noses in disgust over the business practices Google follows. It has increasingly turned its attention to local daily deals business to "go green". In other words, their green initiative aims towards reducing the global impacts of cloud computing and carbon offsets, as explained in the official Google blog post.
That's not all though. Zagat's newly developed tools such as its "Matrix" model that changes the way users can access information, allowing it to be viewed as a highly attractive acquisition. Especially because Zagat is a top local platform, Google can use their new buy to support their own future growth of localized content.
But that's not to say that it won't keep expanding. It leaves us with the following question: What's next?
The answer is possibly Groupon and Facebook. Look out! You could be the next targets.