Google Closing Google Business Profile Sites
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Navigating the Closure of Google Business Profile Websites

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    If you rely on a website created through Google Business Profiles, brace yourself.

    Effective March 1, 2024, Google is shutting down the ability to edit and update any website built with Business Profiles. This mainly targets websites where you would have company.business.site as your URL.

    As of March 1st, 2024, visitors to your old site will be redirected to your Google Business Places profile until June 10, 2024. After June 10th, your site will display a 404 Error.

    While the news came quite suddenly with a hyper timeline for shutdown, it’s really not surprising. The Google Business.Site setup has been a ghost town for most people in the US except for spammers. Elsewhere in the world, this was an easy entry to having a website, but in the USA, it wasn’t used by many businesses. Still, if you have a site built inside the Google Business Profile, it’s crucial to take action now to maintain your online presence and avoid disruptions.

    What’s Happening With Business Profile Sites?

    Google is pulling the plug on websites built inside the Business Profiles, and after March 1, 2024, visitors to these sites will be redirected to the respective profiles until June 10, 2024.

    After June 10, 2024 users will get the dreaded “404 Error” message, which is basically a “page not found“, leaving potential visitors in the dark.

    To say that this could potentially impact brand reputation is an understatement. Of course, if you were relying on this for phone calls, information, and conversions, well, all of that is gone too.

    The timeline issued by Google means that businesses must act quickly to migrate their website content and design to a different platform or risk losing their online presence entirely.

    Why is Google Closing Business.Site Domains?

    The decision to close down business.site domains comes as part of Google’s broader strategy to focus on its core products, such as Google Search, Google Maps, and Google Ads. The offer of the business.site was a quick way to get small businesses to adapt to the Google Business Profile setups. These websites were never a major part of Google’s offerings, and with the rise of more sophisticated website builders, they have become obsolete.

    There have also been some thoughts online that the sale of the Google Domains Registrations division to SquareSpace might be playing a factor in things too. There could have been some sort of clause about the website builder in the sale agreement.

    Either way, Google made no money with the free business.site, so a refocus on products that are making money seems like a smart strategy.

    What Should I Do If My Website is Built Within Google Business Profiles?

    If your website is built within Google Business Profiles, you must act swiftly to avoid disruptive downtime and loss of website traffic.

    While there are online website builders that can fill the gap, we can’t recommend them. Our primary job is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). We help businesses get found online in Google and Bing. While places like Wix and SquareSpace can fill the quick need of a site, we’ve never found them to be a good source for generating traffic.

    Just like Shopify is a great alternative to WooCommerce, Shipify severely lacking when it comes to the SEO end of things and helping users find the website online.

    If you’re in need of a small website to hold you over, or want to take the leap into a full size website, contact Kim and Conor, we’re happy to help!

    What Does This Mean for My Website?

    The biggest impact of Google’s decision to close business.site domains is that your website will no longer be accessible once the shutdown occurs. This could have significant consequences for your small business, especially if you rely on online traffic to generate sales or leads.

    If you’ve been using a Google Business Profile website as your main site, it’s time to start thinking about creating a new website or finding an alternative platform to host your site. This may seem daunting, but there are plenty of options available that can help you build a professional and efficient website.

    The Action Plan – What Should I Do Next?

    Before freaking out and contacting various places, let’s do the basics first.

    Get a copy of what’s on your site. If that means using screenshot software or even using your phone to take pictures of what’s on the screen, do this first.

    Here are some additional steps for moving your website from GBP:

    Packing and moving a website
    • Choose between building a new site yourself or contracting a web designer.
    • Choose a new platform that suits your requirements.
    • Build your new website using the chosen platform’s intuitive interface.
    • Update your Business Profile by replacing the website link with the new site address.
    • Migrate content or rewrite content for the new site.
    • Adjust advertising links to the new site before March to ensure continuity.
    • Bonus Tip: If you used a custom domain, set up a redirect before June 10 for a seamless transition.

    The impending closure of Google Business Profile websites necessitates swift action from businesses to ensure a smooth transition and continued online presence.

    By following the provided guide, businesses can proactively address the changes and avoid potential setbacks.

    We understand that this may be an inconvenience, but we believe it is in the best interest of businesses to have a professional and well-functioning website. Although there may be some initial challenges in transitioning to a new platform, the benefits of having an effective website far outweigh any temporary inconvenience.

    The End? Not Quite

    This is just one example of how quickly technology can evolve and force businesses to adapt. It’s a reminder that businesses must stay up-to-date with the latest trends and changes in order to maintain their online presence and continue reaching their target audience.

    conor and kim - big red seo - uss alabama

    Whether it’s Google closing business.site domains or any other technological advancement, businesses must be prepared to adjust and pivot, or risk being left behind. So keep learning, stay informed, and always be willing to adapt.

    If you get stuck or have more questions, reach out to someone who has experience in building websites. We’ve been building WordPress Websites since 2010 and are ready to help build a website for you too. Feel free to fill out our contact form online, or call us (Kim and Conor) at 402-522-6468.

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