Why? That was the big question many people asked when, back in 2011, Google spent an estimated $150m buying Zagat, the world's largest firm specialising in surveying and reporting the views of restaurant-goers.
It subsequently became apparent that Google had in fact really wanted to buy the more generalist Yelp! site but, having been repulsed, bought Zagat – for its customer-facing credibility – instead.
Ultimately, it seems, the brand's credibility was all Google really wanted and, yesterday, the endgame became apparent. Zagat emailed its community of interested restaurant-goers it has been building up for more than 30 years – now hundreds of thousands strong, across the world – to inform them that their services were no longer needed. With effect from 10 July, there are no Zagat members. All contributions to future Zagat surveys (whatever, if anything, that really means now) will be sucked in via Google+ or even – can this really be true? – “anonymously”. “Zagat”, it seems, is now just another Google brand.
Former members of the Zagat community are welcome to join Harden’s. We're planning to make our community an ever-better place to be, and we'd be pleased if you came along for the ride.