If you bought a Google Domains URL with an intention of building some cool new website, things could be changing, with Google selling its Domains business to Squarespace for $180 million.
As reported by Bloomberg, Google’s getting out of the domain naming racket, as it continues to cut costs, and re-focus on other, more future-facing elements. Earlier this year, Google announced that it would be culling over 12,000 roles at the company, equivalent to 6% of its global workforce, as part of a broader effort to sharpen its focus and re-direct key talent to emerging opportunities.
It seems that Google Domains has now become a casualty of that shift, with Squarespace set to become the host of the various Google Domains URLs.
Originally announced back in 2014, but only brought out of beta last year, a key benefit of Google Domains is that it offers custom URL identifiers, with over 300 domain endings to better customize your web presence.
That enables a more bespoke web presence, which is part of Google’s broader offering to build your business presence across its various apps and tools. With integrated, affordable domain hosting, via the company that rules online search, that proved to be an intriguing option to many, with over 10 million domains sold – and while they will still be supported by Squarespace, it does seem like they’ll hold a little less value without that integration.
But you’ll get to keep your cool .cafe or .media web address if you like, it just won’t come with that additional, potential kick of being directly tied into Google’s sorting systems.
It’ll also probably cost you more to keep, with Squarespace’s current pricing being a little higher than those listed on the Google Domains site. But that’ll all be up for assessment as Squarespace takes ownership of the business, and integrates it into its offering.
The sale also suggests that Google’s cost-cutting push is not over yet, as it looks to re-ignite profit, amid rising competition from new generative AI tools, as well as emerging players in the eCommerce space.
Within that, novelty URLs just don’t hold the same importance, and it’ll be interesting to see what Squarespace does with the Google listings.