Google Ruined Zagat

I first must confess. I use gmail. I use google calendar. I previously had an Android phone. I use YouTube (yea, Google got that too). Google transformed itself from a search engine to a technology giant. They most recently brought us the ChromeCast which attaches to a TV to stream YouTube, Netflix (more coming) right from any device. All of this stuff is great — kudos Google.

Google isn’t perfect. And one major example is their recent purchase of Zagat, the 30+ year old food rating and review service. Previously, it was only available to paid subscribers or those who purchased a copy of a particular city guide. The website was a bit antiquated and in need of an update, but it still provided all the information I wanted. Ratings, menus, signature dishes, reviews, info that’s helpful prior to dining, etc.

Now enter Google. Just a few days ago, Google launched the all new Zagat website, and with one single stroke ruined killed destroyed Zagat. The new site only has a few initial launch cities so if I’m traveling to Spain or somewhere else next week I’m out of luck. The new site resembles other food related sites out there with lots of videos, best of lists, etc. I’m fine with the existence of these types of things on Zagat, but when you absolutely crush the search engine (Google’s bread and butter) and make it completely useless. There is going to be backlash.

Before it was taken down (or moved), the initial announcement had a comment section. For every 50 bad comments there were one no good comments. The site is a shell of its former self. It is an utter disgrace to use and navigate. Not only that, but if you search a restaurant in Google, the subsequent side advertisement no longer lists the former 1-30 Zagat rating, but instead a 1-5. If you click “more from Zagat” you are given the old score, in tiny print, under a long list of “best of” lists.

I know that Google is asking for feedback, so here is your feedback. Do everyone out there who used to love Zagat a favor and make some changes.

UPDATE – as of the Zagat blog post on Tuesday August 6th, many of the previous search functions have been restored.

About Evan Halperin

I like to eat. I like to cook. I like to eat what I cook. Now, I will share with you what I like to cook. My wife and I may be a vegetarian and a carnivore, but it doesn’t mean we can’t cook a nice meal with both, without compromising taste. I will share my creative meals of the Carnivore and the Vegetarian.
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