Google has announced the relaunch of its rating and review site, Zagat, along with a mobile app for both Android and iPhone. With the relaunch, Zagat offers access to its rating information on local restaurants and nightlife without registration – a first for Zagat, according to Google.
Zagat has been a source of ratings for restaurants since 1979, and was popular in print prior to the Web. Google acquired Zagat in 2011 after the Google-Yelp deal fell through back in 2009. Google has been incorporating Zagat reviews into the local search results for years now.
Zagat bases its review point system on consumer surveys. This is different from Yelp in that Yelp does not assign overall points to a restaurant based on several areas including price, décor, service, and more.
In addition to ratings and reviews on local restaurants, the new content experience at Zagat offers editorial videos and curated listings on local restaurants and nightlife such as, "8 of the Spiciest Menus Around LA."
Let's look at how Zagat integrates with the search results currently, and how the new content experience integrates as well.
A search for Indian food in Los Angeles brings up several options. Clicking on one listing, the Agra Cafe, you can see it has a Zagat rating and that it's also featured in Zagat's curated list of the "Best Restaurants in Silver Lake":
Clicking on that list's link brings up Zagat's curated list of "Best Restaurants in Silver Lake" in the Google local results carousel at the top of the page:
These local carousel results are the same featured in the curated list that can be found for "Best Restaurants in Silver Lake" on Zagat's website here. Note that the listings are not completely accurate here or in the search results, with two restaurants in Simi Valley (not in Silver Lake) incorrectly included.
As of now, the new website and app experience only covers major U.S. cities such as Austin, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington D.C., and internationally in London.
Google promised that in the coming months, Zagat planned to expand to 50 U.S. and international destinations to "cover shopping, hotels and other places of interest."