Google announced that it will be removing free websites created with Google Business Profiles in March 2024. Once your free website has been removed, your customers will be redirected to your Google Business Listing until 10 June 2024. After this date, customers will get a "page not found" error.
Businesses that want to continue to have a website are advised to build a new one on an alternative platform if they're currently using a free Google website. Once the new website is live, the Business Profile can be updated with the new website address. This should be done before the deadline to ensure a smooth transition.
Importantly, Google Business Profiles will not be affected and all other current information will remain visible online.
Here's a brief summary of everything you need to know:
Websites made with Google Business Profiles are being phased out
As of March 2024, Google will no longer allow creating new websites through your Business Profile.
Existing websites made with Business Profiles will be turned off in March 2024.
Customers visiting your website URL will be redirected to your Business Profile until 10 June 2024.
Impact on Google Business Profiles
Your existing Business Profile itself will not be affected by this change.
The removal of websites does not mean Google is abandoning local businesses.
Google is encouraging businesses to connect their Business Profile to existing websites they own or create new ones using other website builders.
Impact on local businesses' online visibility
Businesses relying solely on the free website provided by Google Business Profile will lose their website presence.
This could negatively impact their online visibility and potential customer reach.
Businesses have the option to:
Connect their existing website to their Business Profile for a seamless experience.
Build a new website using platforms like Google Sites, Wix, or Squarespace.
Leverage their Business Profile's features like photos, offers, and posts to remain visible.
If you currently have a custom domain directing traffic to your Google Business Profile website, users will be redirected to your Business Profile until 10 June. To avoid people encountering the "page not found" error after the deadline, you'll need to sign into your hosting company account and choose a redirect option or similar to forward your third-party domain to another website.
Ads campaigns connected to your website
If you're running ads campaigns that direct traffic to your Google Business Profile website, you need to update the links to a different website before 1 March, or you can pause your campaigns.
Think about all the links to your website
Consider all the places that currently link to your free Google Business Profile website:
Social media profiles
Partner business websites
All of these links should be updated as soon as possible.
Overall, this change means local businesses need to be proactive in managing their online presence. While Google Business Profiles remain valuable, relying solely on their free website is no longer a sustainable option. Consider connecting or building a separate website to maintain control over your online identity and improve your chances of getting found by potential customers.
How can we help you?
We can help businesses manage these impending changes with a range of solutions:
Build a customised website for your business to maintain your website presence
Build landing pages for ads campaigns to minimise interruption and downtime
Redirect third-party domains to another website for a smooth transition
Show you how to maximise the features of your Google Business Profile
For guidance and support with your business website and domains, please contact us.
You can contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us on 99 427938.