Ever since 2006. Google has been dabbling in the small business (SMB) web creating and hosting business. It looks like it’s making a renewed effort at providing a very basic website creation tool to local business owners.
SMB survey data vary, but a still-meaningful percentage of SMBs don’t have websites. Mike Blumenthal has played with the tool, which is presented in Google My Business (GMB):
It is essentially a super simplengle page website builder with very little opportunity for customization or change. Upon access to the Website tab in the GMB, it comes up with a default category specific background image and theme image.
It seems that it is pre-populated based on the data on file, with customization options.
Google’s initial effort at this sort of thing was as early as 2006 with the creation of “Page Creator.” This tool doesn’t exist anymore due to the fact it was replaced by Google Sites in 2008. At the time of launch though, here’s what Google said about the tool:
Google Page Creator has been designed with ease of use in mind. Its unique interface enables users to edit and create pages just as they appear online, without knowledge of HTML or other computer programming languages. Combined with a simple one-step publishing process, users can create attractive, functional web pages in minutes — hosted by Google for free.
Google Page Creator is a web-based tool, meaning no download is necessary. Users need only visit http//pages.google.com and sign in using their Gmail account to begin creating and publishing their own web pages.
Basically, the rationale was this – If a SMB didn’t have a site that can’t be located by search, it can’t advertise due to the fact there is no landing page.
Google is going to introduce a free mobile website creation tool in India this year, according to the Wall Street Journal. Even though Google has tried to help US small businesses develop mobile websites in the past, they will continue to try again in the near future.