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Understanding Google My Business & Local Search

Careful When Sleeping with Elephants – Are Google Websites a Threat to the Agency?

Google Websites is not a “blow your socks off” web building product. At least not by standards in the United States. That being said, should you as a web designer or SEO ignore it?

That’s a good question.

Scott Davis noted this about Websites on G+ in response to my noting that Google had hit 250,0001 websites created within a month:

If bots could SEO, we’d all be out of a job… Fortunately that isn’t the case. Build your Wix style site… I’ll crush it in search.

My answer:

+Scott Davis as it is currently configured and construed, this product is designed and targeted at the Indias of the world where very few businesses have websites and where very few businesses can afford websites.

That being said it does demonstrate the power with which Google can release and get uptake in a DIY world…

Typically these Google efforts start out lame… sometimes its just s%!t thrown at the wall and someone ultimately cleans it off. Sometimes they are fixed frequently and often and become market dominating products.

Click to view larger. Cartoon created by Margaret Shulock. Copyright Mike Blumenthal & Margaret Shulock. Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

Adwords Express is an example of that… When first released it was very, very lame. It has gradually become a very good DIY product… to the point where a small agency selling $300-600 adwords packages can’t really compete. Will Google keep improving it and go after the $600-1200 a month level? I think so.Can the same thing happen with Websites?

Interestingly Google bought a company called Appetas in 2014. Appetas had a very sophisticated, build your own website product for the restaurant industry that had multiple pages, decent SEO, tight integration with reservation tools, payments, delivery etc. There is a lot of DNA shared between the 1.0 version of Website  and that product.

As to your original question, I am not saying that you currently can’t out SEO them, I am saying keep your eyes open and realize that you are sleeping with elephants…. elephants are generally benign but when you and they are sleeping be very careful that when they roll over that it’s not you they crush.

1 – As of today, Google now has had 303,000 websites created using the tool. It’s been 6 weeks since introduction and they continue adding at roughly the same pace.