Just 14 months after general availability Google Domains is winding down – and handing its approximately 10 million domains to Squarespace.
Google moved Google Domains out of beta and to GA in 26 countries in March 2022 after an oddly long seven-year beta that began in 2015.
The offering did what it said on the tin: Provided a way to find, buy and manage a domain, with 2FA and one-click DNSSEC et al baked in.
It was received positively by customers.
Comments on the decision today by disappointed customers on social media included that Google Domains was "an oasis in an industry full of terrible vendors"; and a "great, no-frills product with top notch security."
The decision comes less than four weeks after Google launched a new Top Level Domain (TLD) .zip – and promptly ran into a firestorm of criticism from security professionals concerned that the TLD would help phishing.
Domains and DNS delegation will not be affected by the migration: “Once you are a Squarespace customer you’ll be able to manage additional services (as available) through their management console” Google told customers. “Encrypted billing data will, where applicable, be securely migrated to Squarespace and their PCI-compliant payment processor(s).”
Bloomberg, which first reported the the news, said the deal was for $180m.
Google Domains is not, of course, being “killed” outright so does not get to join the lengthy “killed by Google” list – which in eight weeks will be joined by Google Cloud IoT Core which is being shut down on August 16, 2023.
Google Domains: Sharpened focus
"In keeping with our efforts to sharpen our focus, we have entered into a definitive agreement with Squarespace for the acquisition of customer accounts of the Google Domains registrar business," said Google VP Matt Madrigal. "Supporting a smooth transition for customers over the coming months, with the help of the Google Domains team, is our top priority.
The transaction is expected to close in Q3. Under the terms of the agreement, Squarespace will honour all existing Google Domains customers' renewal prices for at least 12 months transaction close.
It will also “provide additional incentives to encourage Google Domains customers to build a website with Squarespace and adopt other Squarespace offerings. Further, Squarespace will be leveraging Google's infrastructure powering the Google Domains product during the migration period in order to ensure the seamless transfer of domains…”