Google’s acquisition of ZAGAT is all about original content

The search giant’s recent move shows it’s thinking more like a publisher than an aggregator, and this holds lessons for your organization.

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“Zagat will be a cornerstone of our local offering—delighting people with their impressive array of reviews, ratings and insights, while enabling people everywhere to find extraordinary (and ordinary) experiences around the corner and around the world.”

What this comes down to is original content. In their letter to customers, ZAGAT founders Nina and Tim Zagat wrote, “After spending time with Google senior management discussing our mutual goals, we know they share our belief in user-generated content and our commitment to accuracy and fairness in providing users with the information needed to make smart decisions about where to eat, shop and travel.”

The move adds to Google’s growing collection of original content properties, including Google+, with its stream of original user-generated content that feeds into search results, and Think Quarterly, a print publication with an online version, providing long-form content designed to inspire thinking and provoke discussion.

Clearly, Google believes providing search results of other people’s content isn’t enough. And they’re right. They’re starting to think more like a publisher than an aggregator.

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