Google Plus Local: The Google-Zagat Baby
Last year, Google shelled out $151 million to purchase 32-year-old Zagat, and there was speculation that the partnership would lead to better Google Maps services.
It seems, however, that Google is just creating a new free feature: Google Plus Local. Launching today, the new feature will use Zagat's user reviews to help refine searches, with the "poor-to-perfect" zero to 30 scale ratings.
People who sign up for Google Plus Local can access old Zagat reviews on Zagat.com (currently under a paywall), plus add reviews of their own. And of course, Google is expanding the services to more than just restaurants and bars; The New York Times reports that the team is planning on pages for Yellowstone National Park and other notable locations.
Zagat reviews are also available through Google Maps and Google Plus.