Google announced that on March 1, 2024, free websites made with Google Business Profiles will be shut down and visitors will instead be redirected to your Google Business Profile. This redirect will only be active until June 10, 2024, after which a “page not found” error will be displayed. In summary, if you rely on a .business.site domain for your small business’ website, you need a new website.
Are Google’s Free Websites Shutting Down?
Yes and no. Sites created with Google Business Profiles will shut down March 1, 2024. Google Sites, a free webpage builder by Google, remains active.
What is a website built with a Google Business Profile?
Until recently, you could create a simple, one-page website for your small business based on the information of your Google Business Profile, formerly known as Google My Business. The website create ended with “.business.site” and thousands of small businesses relied on this free service. Starting in March, Google is turning off website created using Google Business Profile. If you are a small business owner, you need to create a new website plan now!
Why Should I Listen to You?
Hey there, I’m Sam Sarsten, owner of Thencan Designs, a burgeoning web design firm in Bend, Oregon. I help people with Google Business Profiles all the time and I’ve even helped a client or two set up this free site through their GBP. I received an email today with this shocking news! I’m sad to see this service go, but I know from experience the importance of a site for one’s small business. So let’s take a look at what we do now!
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Key Points to Consider
Google has broken down these considerations at their support article. Here’s a summary:
- Domain Changes: Domains ending in business.site and negocio.site will be removed from the website field in your Business Profile. It’s crucial to update your profile with a new website address.
- Profile Focus: Your Google Business Profile remains a vital tool. It’s the perfect place to showcase your business, share updates, use photos to attract customers, and provide contact details. If you need help with your Google Business Profile, be sure to check out our Complete Guide to Google Business Profiles in 2024.
- Creating a New Website: To maintain an online presence, consider building a new website using platforms like Wix, Squarespace, GoDaddy, Google Sites, Shopify, or WordPress. Don’t forget to update your Business Profile with the new website link. You may also consider working with a local web designer. Thencan Designs offers web design services nationwide.
- Ads Campaign Management: If your Google Business Profile website is linked to an Ads campaign, update your ads with a new website link before March 1, 2024, to avoid disruptions.
- Managing Custom Domains: If you’re using a custom domain to forward traffic to your Google Business Profile website, set up a redirect to a new site before June 10, 2024.
Action Steps for Small Businesses
- Check Your Current Setup: Determine if your business uses a Google Business Profile website. If so, start planning for the transition. Remember, if your site ends in .business.site that means you’re using it!!
- Choose a New Website Platform: Explore alternative website builders and choose one that suits your business needs. Create a new, more dynamic website.
- Update Your Google Business Profile: Once your new website is ready, update the information in your Google Business Profile to ensure customers can find you online.
- Communicate with Your Customers: Inform your customers about the change through emails, social media, or updates on your Business Profile. Everything will need to change – even business cards!
- Seek Assistance if Needed: If you’re unsure about any of these steps or need additional support, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. You can even reach out to us for guidance!
The discontinuation of websites made with Google Business Profiles marks a shift in how small businesses manage their online presence. While it requires some adjustment, this change also presents an opportunity to enhance your online footprint with a more comprehensive and customizable website. By taking proactive steps now, you can ensure a seamless transition for your business and a chance to get a step ahead of the competition.