Google Parts Ways With Zagat Brand After 7 Years

Joe Raedle  Getty Images

The company said it became profitable past year.

However, it looks like Zagat's usefulness to Google has worn out, as it is offloading the brand to nine-year-old reviews site The Infatuation.

But Zagat content has since been de-emphasized in favor of Google's collected recommendations.

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Zagat, meanwhile, has lost much of the shine it had when Google purchased it almost a decade ago.

Zagat, which was originally started by Tim and Nina Zagat as a survey of their friends' opinions about restaurants in NY, had been acquired seven years ago for $151 million when Google planned to integrate its reviews into its mapping service.

The Infatuation, which plans to keep Zagat as a separate brand that features user-generated reviews, has an opportunity to raise its profile with the long-established restaurant review platform. The Infatuation claims to reach some 3 million users each month and boasts a presence in cities including Austin, Chicago, Denver, London, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco among others. The site clearly believes there's value left in the Zagat brand, even as the business of online reviews has changed significantly in the seven years sinceGoogle picked it up.

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Over a telephonic interview Chris Stag, a Co-Founder of The Infatuation and it's Chief Executive said, "How often does an iconic brand like Zagat become available?". That manner of content has become increasingly important for driving services like Google Maps, which incorporates it directly into its location services.

Nina Zagat said the deal would provide a healthy future for the company.

"Tim and I are very excited for Zagat's next chapter with The Infatuation", Nina Zagat said. "Their innovative approach, and their passion for helping people discover great restaurants and for building community line up with what we built with Zagat from the very beginning". But Mr. Stang made one thing clear: the Zagat brand will be respected and cherished at The Infatuation.

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"We're just trying to build something that takes this powerful brand and continues to grow it", said Stang.

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