Google Buys Zagat To Improve Search Results & Google Maps

In an “effort to bolster” its “local reviews and ratings,” Google announced today that it has purchased Zagat, the company known for its quotation-heavy restaurant, movie, shopping and other review guides.

In a post on the official Google blog, the company says that “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.”

For those not familiar with Zagat, the company was founded in 1979 and became famous for its slim restaurant guides that used customer-submitted ratings and reviews to form brief snippets about each eatery and give them ratings (out of a possible 30 points) on food, decor and service.

Using the same customer-generated ratings, the company subsequently branched out to produce guides on movies, shopping, nightlife, travel, music and more.

There’s no timeline yet for rolling out Zagat reviews to Google search and Google Maps, so for now… enjoy this clip of Chris Farley in drag reading from the Zagat restaurant guide:

Google just got ZAGAT Rated! [Google Blog via TechCrunch]