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Et tu, Google?

Oh brother, here we go again. It  was not enough that Microsoft wanted to take my business (web design for small businesses), but now Google has jumped in as well. Yesterday Google launched Google Pages, and it looks like the best low-tech HTML web site builder I have seen. It is free and has no adds. I played with it for a bit and built a nice looking site in 20 minutes. Yea, great new product from Google. Boo, it will cut into my business.

Google Pages Screenshot

Thankfully, it has a major weakness, users don’t get to control their URL. A web site created with Google’s new tool will have a URL composed of the user’s gmail address, followed by ‘googlepages.com’ (jamesfryer.com.googlepages.com in my case). So it is no good for businesses (or serious hobbyists). But I imagine that this will change at some point. Maybe Google will offer domain control as a ‘premium’ service.

This is what I see: a potential client wants a web site, they think, ‘Hey, Google has those for free, I will try that.’ The potential client tries it and makes a pretty bad site. But since they don’t know any better, they don’t know it is bad. So they never call me. That is what I think will happen with both Google Pages and Office Live. Oh well, such is life. I guess I still have a shot at people too computer illiterate to figure out Google Pages.

3 Responses to “Et tu, Google?”

  1. I’ve got to disagree a bit for the present. I run a small hosting/site design firm myself with a little over 100 sites. I can’t think of any of them that would want this sort of hosting as I see it now. Maybe a future form of it would be a problem, but right now my customers all have a domain name that relates specifically to them. Some of them have special features like discussion boards, shopping carts and so forth. I just don’t see any of them wanting to move. I hope this doesn’t affect your business.

    I guess the question, for the long term, though, becomes, is google eventually going to be the Walmart of the Internet?? Driving mom and pop friendly local businesses out.

    Good luck

  2. Some architects are in the same boat.

    Image is important in the marketing world, and I think the homogenized look of the sites will be evident, no?

    There’s something to be said for personalized service.

  3. James you can differentiate your product.
    Think of all the ways you are different.
    Edward Demming the quality Guru talked about the Total cost.
    Smething free, may have a lot of hidden costs.
    You can specialize in a particular trade and get referrals.
    Your work is good.
    Please ask for testmonials and put them up.
    Never give up, persistance is the quality of a Buddha.
    Good luck