“I think it was clear to all of us involved that that was the logical next step in bringing this experience to people,” says Gannon Hall, Group Product Manager and Head of Zagat. “It’s not about paying for information or creating registration barriers. We want to surface this content. It comes down to focusing on the user and what makes a good experience. It was very clear to us that we should remove those barriers.”
The new Zagat currently covers restaurants and nightlife in nine cities, and over the coming months Google has said it plans to expand to 50 U.S. and international destinations and cover shopping, hotels and other places of interest. Today, the site only covers San Francisco, Austin, Boston, Chicago, London, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. Google also plans to expand the range of reviews to include hotels, shopping and “other places of interest,” something the printed Zagat guides have been doing for a while now.
The new site, Google says, will also feature news and video content from local editors, as well as curated lists, improved search and map-based browsing. You will also be able to make reservations through Open Table and read menus before you arrive at the restaurant. The website, of course, still lets you participate in the usual Zagat surveys.
Source: Official Google Blog