In a bold move, Googleannounced yesterday that it had acquired Zagat, the famous US Restaurnant guide.
Zagat's guides rely on user-generated content (consumer reviews) which are monitored and edited by a team of experts.
This news is not surprising. As we explained recently, quality content can only be produced through combining various sources of information (including user-generated content), automated algorithms and manual work. At NAVX, we implement these types of processes in what we call a Content Factory, relying on a scalable platform, an efficient Content Management System and a team of content specialists.
The acquisition of Zagat shows that Google is serious about content quality.
Maps and geolocalisation allowed for the huge success of personal navigation devices, then became a standard feature in smartphones, and are now getting embedded directly in cars.
Maps and navigation software are nowadays pretty good in most of Europe and the USA. However, finding a point of interest (e.g. a shop, theater, gas station, parking, etc) is still very adventurous: the place will often have changed name, or closed down, maybe moved to a different address. Or new places will have appeared and won't show up on the map. And the geolocalisation will be wrong.
Providing reliable points of interest on a map is therefore critical to a growing number of applications and devices.
In this respect, Google Maps is not good enough, as reported by the New York Times here.
This is why some companies, including NAVX, run a Content Factory. The factory collects and verifies information about points of interest, not only using smart algorithms but also relying on a team of specialists and operators who interact directly with brands, shops and other outlets.
Building and running a Content Factory has a cost, but can be done in a scalable way, allowing to produce best-in-class content for the satisfaction of customers.