Google acquired Zagat review service last year for $151 million. Reportedly, the search giant has now put an end to the $25 subscription fee that came with Zagat to give it away free of charge in the local listings of Google+, and refine its local search. It has about 35,000 restaurants in more than 100 cities across the globe. Those who were wondering how Google will possibly integrate its customer-generated restraint guides and online reviews, can now head to Google+ where all these reviews will be under its new Local section.
Another expensive acquisition by Google

Yet another attempt at enhancing its social network…

The online subscription fees helped sustain the sale of Zagat's guidebooks which have been selling since 1979. Zagat was made available to users via its website, which came with a small fee. Google+ has been around for quite some time now, but hasn’t been able to make an impact as huge as its social competitor Facebook. Google’s previous attempt at social networking, the Buzz, also lost its fizz soon enough.

Google+ Local made its world debut on Wednesday, and will utilize user reviews to refine search. It is said to adopt Zagat’s ‘poor-to-perfect’ and 0-to-30 rating scale and also maintain the burgundy color for some web pages. Zagat ratings are not limited to just restaurants, but extend to shopping, night life, hotels, resorts, spas and golf courses across the world. Marissa Mayer, Google’s vice president for local search and maps said that 20 percent of all searches in Google are for nearby information and 40 percent for those using mobile phones. “Getting local search right is important, and to do that you need great reviews,” she added. Now Google has taken off the subscription fee to access Zagat, if users access it via Google+ Local. It comes across as yet another way to attract users to Google’s social site, however, the question is whether it is successful to allure social networkers. All those who sign up for Google Plus Local can also write their own reviews.

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