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Thousands of websites to be shut down from today

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Google plans to close down more than 20 million Google Business Profile websites, a service that allowed users to quickly generate a website using information from their Google Business Profile. 

If you currently use this Google website builder for your business website, you’ll need to find an alternative solution. However, it’s important to note that Google Business Profiles themselves will remain unaffected by this change and will continue to function as usual. In fact, maintaining your Google Business Profile is essential, as it provides significant benefits for local SEO.

Adam Boote, Director of Growth at Localsearch, Australia’s leading digital marketing presence provider, commented on the impact of this change on the small business landscape:

“With the deadline for the discontinuation of Google’s free Business Profile website feature taking effect from this Friday, at Localsearch we have been closely observing the impact on businesses across Australia. 

“We’ve experienced a significant increase in demand for new websites across the board. This heightened interest underscores the importance for businesses to maintain a robust online presence in today’s digital landscape. For those who are yet to transition away from a Google Business Profile website, it is crucial to act now to ensure your business’s online presence is not significantly impacted from Friday onwards.”

Here are the key details regarding the shutdown of Google Business Profile websites, according to Google:

The shutdown is scheduled for March 2024.

Visitors who click on your website domain will be redirected to your Google Business Profile (GBP).

The redirections will cease on June 10, 2024. After this date, visitors clicking on your website URL will encounter a 404 error message.

If your Google Business Profile website used a domain ending with business.site or negocio.site, those domains will be removed from the website field on your Google Business Profile.

Google advises users to “update your Google Business Profile to point to a new website.”

In preparation for the impending alterations, here are some essential steps that small business owners with Google Business Profile websites should take:

Selecting an alternative solution

Choosing a new website provider is a crucial decision. Small businesses are advised to consider factors such as ease of use, cost, integration capabilities with marketing tools, security features, search-engine compatibility, and the provider’s reliability track record.

To continue having a website for your business, you could consider using a site builder, such as:

Wix

Squarespace

GoDaddy

Google Sites

Shopify

WordPress

 

Updating online presence

Once a new website is chosen, it is imperative to promptly update not only the Google Business Profile but also other online platforms, including Localsearch Business Profile, social media accounts, and any other profiles containing the website address. 

This proactive measure should be executed before the March 1 deadline to prevent disruptions to online presence.

Adjusting Ad campaigns

For those running Google Ads or social media campaigns linked to their Google Business Profile websites, it is crucial to update the URLs in the ads to reflect the new website address. This adjustment should be completed before March 1 to ensure uninterrupted ad performance.

Customer communication

Business owners should proactively communicate with their customer base about the impending change in website address. Keeping customers informed about the transition will help them seamlessly locate the business online.

Ads campaigns linked to Google Business Profile websites

For Ads campaigns linked to a website from Google Business Profile, it is recommended to change the link before March 1 to avoid disruptions. Alternatively, businesses can opt to pause campaigns until the new website is operational.

Turnoff timeline for Google Business Profile Websites

Come March 1, Google will turn off all websites created through Google Business Profiles. Until June 10, visitors attempting to access the website will be redirected to the Business Profile. However, after June 10, they will encounter a “page not found” error.

Localsearch Executive Chairman Daniel Stoten says: “Maintaining a robust online presence is crucial for businesses in our increasingly digital world. A well-designed website serves as the digital storefront for a business, allowing customers to discover services, gather information, and engage with the brand at their convenience. With Google phasing out websites created through Google Business Profiles, it’s imperative for businesses affected by this change to act swiftly.”

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