Google farms off Zagat

Zagat is one of those strange Google deals that looked enormous on paper at the time, at $151 million, but didn't really go anywhere.

Googled acquired Zagat seven years ago in the hope of bringing restaurant reviews into the 'digital age' but ultimately failed to do much with it, often favoring its own user reviews and aggregation than original content.

Back in 2008, people thought it would spawn a showdown between Yelp and Zagat, but that never really happened. Google did reboot the website and launch an app, but it didn't continue to invest in it, nor push it particularly hard -- you probably didn't hear of it.

For a while, Google played an aggressive pawn game with Zagat, using it as a weapon after Yelp rebuffed a Google acquisition, but the theory is it never really had a plan for the company. As a result, it languished internally and saw little focus.

The sale is a minor blip for the company, but an interesting one, as it's still apparently able to disentangle the company and that Zagat, despite the issues, is still very much alive.

In a world where user reviews can only get us so far, maybe it'll stand a chance on its own. 

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