Google Testing Website Builder Within Google My Business

Update: For a more in-depth look at the new product see: Google GMB Website Builder Beta First Look.

It seems that the day has finally come when Google is going after the many small businesses in both the developing and developed world that don’t yet have a website or at least a good mobile one. No intermidiary, no third party, this product is a a Google native web builder that looks simple and easy.

Last week the Wall Street Journal reported that Google was going to be testing a moible website building product in India. It was reported to be free and targeted to the many business that are just now starting to get online.

Apparently that product is also being tested in the Australia as well. Alicia Hardy, a marketer with Vortala, sent me a screen shot via Twitter of the product from within an Australian GMB listing.

Not much is known at this point as to which countries are in the test or the capabilities of the product but I will be asking Google for more information.

Is this a back to the future moment for Google in their battle for SMB share of mind or another miss step in their battle with Facebook and Amazon? Let me know your thoughts.

Google GMB Site Creator – Click to View larger
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Google Testing Website Builder Within Google My Business by

18 thoughts on “Google Testing Website Builder Within Google My Business”

  1. Yea so that can’t go horrible wrong at all. Black hats will abuse, SMB’s will mess it up and then Goog will kill it after 2 years. Since we can’t full data in GMB insights, not sure how consumers will be able to make adjustments. Having over 350 locations to handle, that seems like a major nightmare and headache to deal with, never mind not be able to edit code? I’ll pass. I have seen how well DIY websites perform Godaddy Sitebuilder, Wix, Squarespace, etc… Blogspot sure has been a great success for spam and p0rn. Its another misstep and Google will regret it like G+ or authority profile pics in serps.

    1. was thinking of compressing images, alt image tags, 301 redirects for killed pages, the essential technical SEO. We both now its going to be spammed nine ways from Sunday with endless keyword stuffing. service + City, service + city state, etc.

  2. If done correctly it can work. A housewife from India who is selling garments part time, and needs a small platform for her business, this could be fine. If consumers get used to seeing small Google Sites style ads on their phones then they may like it. However just wait til all the MLM’ers get hold of this and there are 11,0000 Herbalife disturbers in Perth. Anytime I read articles like this my instinct is how can I make money from this and will this hurt my current business? Seems like a great place to generate leads to sell full sites and AdWords to.

    1. I’d see this as the main use-case. Helping micro-businesses get up and running with a website to provide customers more info at the same time as creating their listing on Google.

        1. Can only imagine the extra data Google will be juicing from those sites too.

          In addition, this may actually help the business’es GMB listing performance…thinking auto syndication of images, photos, hours and promotion of Google reviews on-site. All areas SMB users typically suck at.

  3. At first glance, I’m loving this for those small businesses who can’t afford an expensive website and are currently getting hosed by jokers out there building cr@ppy sites. Can they get this right?

    1. @jeffrey depends on your definition of right. At the moment it is little more than a profile page with less “stuff” than most profile pages. See my first look article.

  4. I think one thing not to miss in this development is that this represents a nod from Google that websites still matter. You almost wouldn’t think so the way their local interfaces now send many users down a Google-controlled rabbit hole which keeps consumers as far away from a company-controlled website as possible. Yet, here is Google, offering free websites … as though websites still matter (which, of course, they do). So, that’s interesting.

    At the same time, the idea of having my website supported by Google makes my stomach drop. Whom, exactly, do I contact when it is hacked, when it’s failing to rank well, etc?

    Hmm…

    Interesting news, Mike!

  5. Question on a different subject, Mike. Larry Kim is predicting that Google will scrap its whole system of showing local business listings for free in favor of a pay-to-play system. Your thoughts? Thanks!

      1. It’s already gone that way, with local packs now showing 1 ad alongside the 3 listings. Wouldn’t be surprised if Google went this way. Particularly as a lot of focus goes to the first 3 results on a mobile.

  6. Now you don’t have to pay Yext or other location management platforms that also offer microsites.

  7. Google websites have just started appearing with my client pages in Haiti… very interesting and for sure such an ideal market.

    Does anyone have any ideas on further direction for this product in 2017?
    It still seems extremely limited in functions… like where do we connect social? Everyone has social profiles here before a website.

    1. @Jeni
      Google has indicated to me that some number of additional features will roll out pretty quickly… like Insights. When and if the other missing pieces come soon will depend on whether Google really commits the resources to the project. Time will tell if they will do that.

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