Google’s head of Local, Maps and Location Services, Marissa Mayer, just announced the acquisition of Zagat, publisher of worldwide restaurant guides, on the Google blog. Zagat is the entity that produces some of the world’s best printable restaurant guides, and accordingly, the platform will now help refine Google tools like Maps, Places, and Hotspot too, Google’s growing recommendation engine.
ITA, Hotel Finder, G +, Motorola, surely someone out there is running a tab on Google’s 2011 buying spree? Ad in Dealmap, and Google Travel, oops! Did I say that? Google’s “local” aspect looks like the biggest winner since Yahoo Local. And with Yahoo! just about out of the picture on the Internet, Bing boinking about looking for someplace to call home – well, you get the idea.
This one is a no brainer, especially for companies (like us) who have worked helping refine pocket (and online) guides into a science. Those fancy Zagat pocket guides will soon become mobile smartphone tidbits everyone will have to have. And to poke a stick in the eye of investors we approached (like Giza Ventures – I will put sticks in the other eyes later on) if they had listened 10 months ago, Google would have just bought Argo guides instead. Ho hum, what a feeling to be right at the wrong time! What’s next? That’s fodder for another post, stay tuned – especially you wizard investor types. :)