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Small businesses which made use of the Google My Business (GMB App) to create a simple website should know that Google is doing away with this feature.
Existing websites made with Google My Business will be turned off in March 2024. When your customers click your website, they will be redirected to your Google Business Profile and the redirect will work until June 10, 2024.
This fundamental change is the latest in a progression that stemmed from Google's attempt to build out business from Search and Maps that began with Google+, which ended in 2014.
Google My Business App was replaced in July 2022 with two Apps, Google Maps & Google Search. At the end of 2021, Google announced that it would be replacing the commonly known “Google My Business” with “Google Business Profile” (GBP).
Google My Business information was used to put your business onto Google Maps. In other words, Google My Business was the one location where you input and managed your business information to show up on Google properties like Maps and Search.
There is now an updated way for local businesses to manage their local listing. Businesses will be able to manage their Google Business Profile from both the Google Maps App and directly in Search, and this provides much quicker access to update your information.
So what happens to the thousands of businesses who benefited from the Google My Business business.site feature?
Like many other small business owners, we also made use of this feature because it was an effective mechanism to display the business. If you ever needed an idea of what Google thought constituted a good website, this might have been it!
We regularly posted our latest news blog items, and it harnessed all the information provided in a neat way. It had a photo gallery, reviews, business hours, a map feature and most importantly, contact details. It is essentially a single page website design.
Let's not forget it was for free!
Businesses will need to replace their free Google websites as quickly as possible if they value the added visibility they gained from this feature.
Many businesses used this free website URL for listings on other platforms such as Facebook, Free business listings and trade listing websites. Because Google will in time also remove the redirect to the Google Business Profile, you have until June 2024 to replace these website links with a proper link to your own website.
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