Earlier this week, Google purchased restaurant-rating company Zagat for approximately $125 million, allowing the search engine giant to provide more original content and improve its local search, the International Business Times reports.
According to Wired, the acquisition will help it compete with other local commerce companies such as Yelp, Groupon and OpenTable.
The Wall Street Journal adds that by teaming with Zagat, Google can not only compete with Yelp's restaurant review prototype, but also begin offering reservations free of charge to restaurants. Because some of Yelp's reviews may be biased or untrustworthy, the company may lose traffic to Google, which can now offer one single, trusted review.
"[Zagat's] surveys may be one of the earliest forms of UGC (user-generated content)," Google vice president Marissa Mayer wrote, quoted by Wired. "Gathering restaurant recommendations from friends, computing and distributing ratings before the internet as we know it today even existed."
However, Zagat will continue to create its own content, and blogger John Battelle cautions that other independent publishers focused on the travel and entertainment genre might have to consider where their content will rank on Google compared to Zagat going forward.