Panicked man who's just learned his Google website is shutting down

Free Google website shutting down? Try this instead 

5 min read
Elna Cain

On March 5, 2024, Google is shutting down (forever) its Google website builder for their Business Profile users.  

Google will redirect website traffic to your Business Profile until June 10, 2024.

Other than that, your Business Profile itself won't be affected. But potential customers have likely come to rely on your Google website for information about your business and to communicate with you. 

Google shared this news, stating that after March 5, 2024, "your free Google website will be redirected to your Business Profile." After June 10, visitors will receive a 'Page not found' error when trying to visit your Google website.

How to know if your website is on Google 

Business owners who put up a Business Profile have the option to create a simple website with the Google website builder. 

The website is pretty basic but it's an economical way for a business that might not have the money to create a more complex website to start. 

To find out if your website is shutting down, websites that run on Google will have the website URLS ending in 

Go to your Google website and check the URL in your browser bar. If it has in it, your website will disappear in March 2024.

Here are the steps to move all your website content to a new web home. 

What to do now 

There are a few key areas to focus on when starting the migration process. The first step is to plan your website structure. 

1. Make a plan 

Lay out the pages you want, the navigation menus, and any special features like sign up forms for email marketing. 

This plan will make designing and laying out your new website easier. 

2. Preserve your Google site’s search rankings 

Gianluca Ferruggia of DesignRush, a network that connects businesses with leading design agencies, also suggests working on your SEO or search engine optimization

"When advising businesses on the migration process from platforms like Google's to their new domain, one of the key pieces of advice I give is to incorporate SEO considerations from the beginning." 

3. Make a copy of everything 

He says another thing to do is to back up all the content on your free Google website. This can be as simple as manually copying the text on your website to your local computer drive.  

You’ll want to copy your: 

  • About Us information 
  • Product descriptions 
  • Any blog posts 

Also, make sure to download all photos, videos or other media you have on your free Google website. You can use these to rebuild your website with another site builder like GoDaddy’s, for example.  

Unless you plan to sell a catalog of products online, a GoDaddy website is free. 

And it’s not likely to ever go away. This is, after all, what GoDaddy does — provide everything a small or medium-sized business needs to do business online. 

4. Make changes gradually

Ferruggia also says to pay attention to your high-quality pages and their rankings in Google. 

"High-quality, relevant content should be migrated carefully, with an eye on maintaining or improving SEO rankings. Any changes in content strategy are implemented gradually to avoid significant disruptions in rankings." 

5. Update your Google Ads account

The next step is to look at your Google Ads campaign, if any. If this is linked to your Google website, go ahead and update your ads to link to a different website before the proposed date of March 5, 2024. 

6. Redirect your domain name 

Next, if you use a custom domain name that forwards to your Google website, set up a redirect to your new website before June 10, 2024 (learn how here).

If you don't redirect your domain name, it will automatically start pointing to your Business Profile on June 10, 2024. 

Finally, you’ll need to decide where to host (store) your business website, now that Google’s out of the picture. 

The easy alternative  

Once you plan your website structure and back up your website, you'll need a new website to redirect your Ads campaign and any custom domain address you use. 

Try GoDaddy's AI website builder for free.

Just type in a description of your business idea and the app will suggest catchy domain names for you to choose from. Seconds after you register a domain, GoDaddy Airo™ instantly starts generating content for you, including: 

  • Eye-catching logo designs that can be easily customized
  • A fully built website with imagery and text designed to help your business engage and attract customers
  • A professional email account that strengthens your business credibility
  • Selling products online? Just upload product photos and Airo will an auto-generate product descriptions for you to tweak

A raft of free features 

With GoDaddy's website builder, you have many options that are free to use. 

You can customize the format of your website by: 

  • Adding multiple pages for content  
  • Having scrollable sections for each page to create a gallery of images, price lists or even YouTube videos 

Title, style, font and color choices are also free with the GoDaddy website builder. 

An added bonus to the website builder plans is the built-in SEO tools to help your business show up in search results, making it easy to migrate your top-performing, high-quality pages and any keywords your free Google website ranks for. 

Keep your website visible

Creating a new website after having your free Google website shut down doesn't have to be a big job. With a bit of planning and the right tools, you can continue to showcase your business to the world. 

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