Is Google’s Free “Get Your Business Online” Website Soon to Roll Out Nationwide?

Google has been slowly rolling out their “Get Your Business Online” free seminar/website initiative worldwide.  They first offered a similar program to SMBs in the UK in February 2010. Earlier this year, Google rolled out the program in Ireland and  Canada and apparently updated their UK program. Some of the programs have had some fine print but the most recent incarnations seem to offer real value for those businesses that want a minimal and easy to start web presence.

In July of this year Google offered up the first US based “Get Your Business Online” in Texas in conjunction with regional and national partners. Their national partners include Intuit, the Association of Small Business Development Centers, SCORE, and Meetup. The website offered as part of the package (with one year free domain) is a 3 page only version of Intuit’s Websites SiteBuilder. The Intuit commercial product is a 5 page site and costs $7.99/month.

Last week Google offered the seminar/free website program in Burlington and Rutland, Vermont. The kick off seminars in Vermont were done with a large number of not for profit agencies and business development groups including the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, the Vermont Small Business Development Center Network and others.

With the domains and on the ground programs in those two states it seemed possible that Google would be rolling the seminar and free website program nationwide on a state by state basis. On June 25, Google apparently transferred 100 domains to their servers in the format & GetStateOnline for most of the 50 states and an additional overarching domain While the move is certainly a defensive domain acquisition/protection strategy, it seems equally likely that free website program could soon be rolling out nationally.

Minimally the effort should put to rest speculation that Google just wants businesses to have a Places/Google+ pages on their servers and no independent web presence.

Here is a complete list of the domains transferred to Google at the end of June:

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
Is Google's Free "Get Your Business Online" Website Soon to Roll Out Nationwide? by

18 thoughts on “Is Google’s Free “Get Your Business Online” Website Soon to Roll Out Nationwide?”

  1. @Mike…I too believe that this will be rolled out continent wide by Google…and as you point out, they’re already opening up that curtain…

    Up here in Cancuk land…our most current numbers show that after almost five ful months of use – is that we’ve had 7,000 new .ca domains created and 6,000 sites created as a result of that initiative!

    All of which, far as I’m concerned is a great thing indeed….specially when comScore reports that 43% of ALL businesses are NOT online…



  2. Of course, a “free” website that you do nothing with – does nothing. What do you need to sell stuff via your website? ADWORDS!

    Too bad my practice is full – or I’d be planning a campaign targeting Texas and Vermont business owners who took this “free” bait and now want a “real” solution.

  3. Hey Mike,

    Great post. Of course I do get the Google updates directly but you always drill down to the good stuff.

    Do you think I could make some money grabbing up all these domains with hyphens? 😉

    Just kidding

  4. Hi Mike!

    Well, it looks like Google is taking a page from the Internet Marketing community!

    Offer a high-perceived value freebie in exchange for visitor information…. the “ethical bribe”. Then you simply upsell… what will Google upsell you ask… lol… as if you didn’t already know! (uh, hello Adwords and Adwords Express!)

    It also gives Google some good PR with the business community. If you have a G website for free, wouldn’t you feel compelled to use their search engine just based on the Law of Reciprocity?

    Again, searchers will click on ad inevitably. Don’t get me wrong, G provides the best SE results… that’s why 2 out of every 3 people use G for search.

    It also provides a platform for inclusion in the new G+ platform AND the biz profiles that will soon be released.

    Thanks again Mike!

  5. @Nyagoslav
    Thanks for the link. I read somewhere that there is also a program in a small European country as well (Netherlands?)

    You note: we’ve had 7,000 new .ca domains created and 6,000 sites created as a result of that initiative! That’s an impressive stat in a country with 25 million folks. What is your source?

    I think there is real opportunity for upsell on the design and website front to some % of these new site owners.

    I am not very versed in domain arbitrage… they might make good sites for AdWords (jk 🙂 )

    I agree that it is a well thought out tactic that has many positive side affects

    Absolutely. In the end, Google has to grow their adwords business. This is certainly that.

  6. As a web designer, this kind of bothers me (and not because it is competition). It bothers me because I would never tell a client to build a three page website. What can you actually cover in three pages? Five pages….maybe, if the client only offers 1-2 services or products, but three pages? I just don’t know about that.

  7. @Jim
    Thanks for the follow up. Any chance you could ferret out which business categories are signing up in what %’s?

    I agree that a 3 page site is not likely to valuable unless they really, really focus their message on a very few products…it would be an interesting experiment to see how far we could take a 3 pager…

  8. @Mike…sure, I’l ask…dunno if they’ll provide that kind of data tho…but if so I’ll email you personally and let you know..

    @Miriam…um…lets see…3 pages huh….okay – #1 is Home page, #2 is the PayMe$$$ page and #3 is the ThankYou page – you never even see #3 unless you get by #2….



  9. @Mike, once again a great post!

    Since when does Google give any weight to “free” websites that could be gone tomorrow?

    As mentioned in a comment above, it does have the possibility of creating a lot of low hanging fruit for some other web companies to target. Hopefully, Google’s efforts will help engage more smaller SMBs with the Internet.

    But we could all be wrong too, maybe Google got all those domain names to boost up their own link popularity. 🙂

  10. Hi Mike,

    Thanks for the great post, as always.

    I’m wondering how this will affect Google Sites–i.e., to what extent might Google Sites become more widely known/used than they currently are. They’ve always been relatively back-burner, and few business owners know about them.

    It just seems to go hand-in-hand with the goal of “independent web presence” that you’ve pointed out.

  11. @Phil

    Good question about Sites. It certainly falls into a nether land where even Google doesn’t seem to have great confidence in the quality of the content.

    I have no idea how it fits into Google’s long term plans. Certainly as a place to generate content is might have value to them . I just did a and it showed 25,600,000 results. I can’t imagine that is a product that generates ad sales.

  12. Hi, interesting information, that Google wants do business also as web hosting provider. The question is, if a a site benefits by ranking, if they are hosted an a google server or not.

    Greetings from Hamburg, Germany.

  13. It is fine that Google wants to “help” the community, but using all these local domains is obviously misleading.

    Way to raise the ethical bar Google. You want your advertisers to create more relevant landing pages when you yourself are not willing to do so. It is obvious that anyone looking for a “new york web designer” is looking for a local web designer. Not some international, non-localized, website creating machine.

  14. This whole thing is a scam. When you get a site its free for the first year! After that they are going to charge you for the domain and the hosting. Intuit and Google are going to take over a huge market share of webhosting. Intuit is not even a good host. You don’t get a cpanel or anything. When they do so google is going to grow and be able to send you more advertisements. They will have all of the websites on their server and track who uses that small business and where. Then send more ads about that subject to that area. I would get a local website designer because thats who this is going to end up hurting in the end because Google already has so much power. Why should we give them more power they already control a huge amount of the web. Search, Gmail, Youtube, Bloggspot, Google Stocks, Google news, Google Chrome, Google Checkout, Google Books, Google Maps, Google Plus. They already control a huge amount of webspace. How much do you want them to control your life? Think about it on every service you use with them they track your information for 8 months! They can tell a lot more about you than you think they can. I’m not saying not to use Google. What i am saying is that they are to powerful on the internet. Google is a monopoly.They should be split up into multiple companies like AT&t was in 1984. This would effectively help smaller web companies like or keep their presence in the web. Google could easily but both of them out of business.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments links could be nofollow free.