Zagat’s time at Google hasn’t exactly been a raging success, and as other review companies like Yelp lap them in both traffic and relevance, time will tell whether The Infatuation’s social media savvy is enough to resuscitate the aging brand.
The 4-decade saga of Zagat
Created in 1979 by husband and wife Tim and Nina Zagat from a 1-page restaurant survey of 200 of their friends, the company was once held as one of the most reliable sources of restaurant reviews.
This was about 25 years before Yelp existed, putting Zagat well ahead of its time in the world of crowdsourced, amateur restauraunt reviews. By ‘05, the Zagats were rolling out annual books of reviews for 70 cities from a pool of 250k respondents.
Unfortunately, their offline success didn’t translate to the web
Zagat put their online content behind a paywall, crippling their SEO performance and allowing Yelp to step in as the de facto source of free online reviews (in 2010, Zagat had about 570k monthly visitors, compared to Yelp’s 9.4m).
For the past several years, Zagat has remained an afterthought for the tech giant. But The Infatuation pledges to revamp the company’s tech presence, so this relic of a bygone era may not go the way of your family’s “takeout menu drawer” after all.