What you need to know
- Google will start turning off websites linked to Google Business Profiles starting March of this year.
- Users are being asked to create alternate websites to avoid major disruptions to their businesses.
- Users who run Ad campaigns and third-party domains are being asked to 'redirect' their users to an alternate website.
Google business profiles have been given a three-month grace period before the curtain falls on their websites.
The company recently announced it will shut down websites created with Google Business Profiles. In March this year, "websites made with Google Business Profiles will be turned off and customers visiting your site will be redirected to your Business Profile instead."
In an email to Android Central, a spokesperson from Google, Molly Shaheen, said, "due to low engagement, we are winding down websites made with Business Profiles, which previously created basic, templated websites based on Business Profile information."
From March until June 10, visitors attempting to access these websites will be automatically redirected to the company's business profile. After that, customers will get a "page not found" error, and these profiles will cease to support websites.
Domains impacted will be those ending with the business.site and negocio.site. These domains will also not reflect on each of those Google business profiles.
Google says these changes will not impact any other aspects of the Business profiles, and people will be seamlessly redirected to the profile.
Here's how to make sure that your customers don't get an error while trying to access your website:
- Google recommends updating your Google Business Profile to point to a new website.
- To continue having a website for your business, you can create websites with different domains, such as WordPress, Squarespace, GoDaddy, Google Sites, Shopify, etc. And update the information on their existing profile.
- If you don’t have a website made with a Google Business Profile, these changes will not impact your business.
Google says profiles created to run Ad campaigns must be updated with ads to a different link before March 1, or users can also choose to pause their campaigns indefinitely.
Suppose you've set up a custom domain to direct traffic to your website created through Google Business Profile. In that case, it's essential to know that this redirection will only remain active until June 10.
To ensure that businesses remain unaffected by this move, Google advises that you sign in to your hosting company account and select the "redirect" option. This step allows your third-party domain to be forwarded to an alternative website before the deadline.
"Small business owners will continue to have access to Business Profiles, as well as ads landing pages if they don’t maintain a website, and other resources to connect with potential customers online,” Shaheen added.
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Nandika Ravi is an Editor for Android Central. Based in Toronto, after rocking the news scene as a Multimedia Reporter and Editor at Rogers Sports and Media, she now brings her expertise into the Tech ecosystem. When not breaking tech news, you can catch her sipping coffee at cosy cafes, exploring new trails with her boxer dog or leveling up in the gaming universe.