Expect a lot more airport, airline, airport restaurant and hotel coverage from Zagat as its content begins to permeate Google search.
Road warriors killing time and counting their miles at the gate may soon be able to trot out their inner foodie as Zagat, which is now owned by Google, is currently soliciting user ratings and reviews of restaurants at major U.S. airports.
If you are waiting for a flight at Boston’s Logan Airport and pondering whether it would be better to try Vinea in the main terminal or Vineyard Grille at gates E1A and E1B, then the Zagat airport restaurant survey, which will be live through July 18, may provide some culinary perspectives.
The survey takes on the eateries at the top 30 U.S. airports.
Zagat rival Yelp already rates many of these establishments.
And, of course, GateGuru, with its iPhone and Android apps, also rates airport restaurants, as well as shops and amenities.
One of the interesting things about the survey, and Zagat’s ratings of non-airport restaurants, hotels, attractions, airlines and car rental companies, is you will increasingly see them shown more prominently in Google’s local search results, as well as in Google Maps, Google Plus and in Google’s mobile apps.
Google recently introduced Google Plus Local, which replaces Google Place pages and integrates these local business results into Google’s social network.
With Zagat being acquired by Google last year, the process of getting Zagat content into Google is well under way.
Zagat rated U.S. domestic and international airlines in November 2010 so in addition to the airport restaurant ratings, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Zagat’s reviews of airlines appear in Google search before long, as well.
A Zagat spokesperson says, however, “we don’t have any plans to share at this time about our next airline survey.”
In Zagat’s 2010 airline survey, which used a 30-point scale, Singapore Airlines earned the highest overall score, 28, in the international premium class category, and took top honors with a 24 score in international economy class, as well.
In the U.S., Continental Airlines, which subsequently merged with United Airlines, took the top score (21) in the large domestic premium class category while JetBlue (19) was the winner in the large domestic economy class group.
Virgin America brought home the laurels with the highest scores in the midsize domestic premium class (24) and midsize domestic economy class (21) categories.
To a large extent, Zagat has supplanted Yelp and TripAdvisor in the restaurant and hotel review categories in Google search results.
Zagat, best-known for its restaurant reviews, is focusing on building its hotel coverage.
Zagat is currently collecting ratings and reviews from consumers about U.S. hotels on the west coast, and will follow this with hotel surveys keying in on the midwest and east coast.
Author: Dennis Schaal