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Google reportedly thinking about selling its Zagat restaurant review guide

It is unknown how much Google wants to sell Zagat for, as well as which companies are interested in scooping up the restaurant review guide.

Published onJanuary 3, 2018

  • Google reportedly held informal talks to sell its Zagat restaurant review guide
  • It is unknown how much Google is asking for Zagat and which companies might be interested
  • A Zagat sale would fit into Alphabet’s strategy to streamline its business

Since 2011, Zagat has been under Google ownership in an effort to push the search giant’s local search efforts. Fast forward six years, and it looks like Google might be ready to offload the restaurant review guide onto someone else’s shoulders.

According to Reuters, Google informally met with several companies regarding a possible Zagat sale. Even though we do not know how much Google wants to sell the restaurant guide for, and that there is no guarantee that Zagat will even be offloaded, any sale will presumably include Zagat’s brand name and website.

What the sale might not include is the information and reviews Google collected over the years, since it could continue to provide them in its Maps application.

It would be an interesting turn of events for Google, which seemed to have grand plans for Zagat when it bought the restaurant guide in 2011 for $151 million. Former Yahoo CEO and Google executive Marissa Mayer secured the deal, saying at the time that Zagat would be a “cornerstone” of Google’s local offering:

Moving forward, Zagat will be a cornerstone of our local offering — delighting people with their impressive array of reviews, ratings, and insights, while enabling people everywhere to find extraordinary (and ordinary) experiences around the corner and around the world.

Things haven’t necessarily panned out that way — Google integrated Zagat into its Maps and Search features, but seeing how Maps already hosts thousands of reviews, Google might not find Zagat as useful anymore. Also, a Zagat sale would fall in line with Alphabet’s desire to shed as many non-core assets as possible in an attempt to streamline its business.

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It’s not that Zagat isn’t useful — it heavily focuses on curation and local guides, as well as features editorial content about restaurants located in major cities around the US. It’s just that Google looks to not have relied on it as much as the search giant once thought it might.

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