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Connecting the Dots With Google's Zagat Acquisition

Google has made acquisitions before, including one deal this month, but its latest deal, the acquisition of Zagat, is a first in one way: it signifies a push into the original content space.

Zagat will be a cornerstone for Google's local offering, the company says. It is a significant acquisition for both Google and for local marketers, a group that Google has been courting with various offerings. The content that Zagat brings to the table arguably closes the gap between Google Places and Yelp, writes Search Engine Land.

SMBs Driving Growth

Advertisers most likely to be affected - or rather, interested - by this addition to Google’s array of content are small and medium sized companies. As it happens this group is projected to significantly step up their digital ad spend over the next five years, according to new projections by BIA/Kelsey.

By 2015 SMBs will allocate 30% of their marketing budgets to traditional advertising (down from 52% in 2010), with the remaining 70% going to digital/online media (mobile, social, online directories, online display, digital outdoor), performance-based commerce (pay-per-click, deals, couponing) and customer retention business solutions (email, reputation and presence management, websites, social marketing, calendaring/appointment-setting).

BIA/Kelsey attributes much of this shift to the advent of daily deals. "SMBs are now increasingly focused on leveraging technological solutions to engage, grow and retain a higher percentage of their customers," said Neal Polachek, president, BIA/Kelsey. As it happens, it was this area in which Google made its other acquisition this month.

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