Google rolling out GMB simple website creator

According to Mike Blumenthal, Google is now broadly rolling out itsA simple website creatorA for small businesses: websites. ItA first appeared in JanuaryA and can beA accessed through the Google My Business dashboard.

It’s an even simpler tool than Google Sites and was reportedly designed for developing marketplaces( e.g ., India ). However, it’s also accessible to US businesses.

It takes advantage of the local business data already in GMB to pre-populate certain content on the site( hours, location, phone and so on ). However, as Mike points out, it’s a very basic( but visually polished) answer for new industries or those that have no website. In the US, a substantial minority — in some surveys approaching 50 percentage — of small businesses don’t have a site.

While it’s not going to work for sophisticated e-commerce and B2B marketers, it may be sufficient for many business categories — and it’s responsive. Indeed, something slightly more than a landing page may be all that is now required for a large number of SMBs in this mobile-centric universe.

Notwithstanding the rise of” answers not links ,” stance zero and voice-firstA user interfaces, websites do remain important to both local businesses and to customers.( Surveys typically show that most SMBs want better websites .) As yet, however, A nobodyA has cracked the code on how to make DIY websites dead simple to develop and polished enough to beA “professional.” Google may be approaching that balance here.

Googleas first try at a simple website creation tool wasA aPage Creator” in 2006, which was followed byA Google SitesA in 2008 and recently refreshed. Google’s main challenger, Facebook, has been pitching SMBs on the idea that a Facebook Page should be their mainA onlineA presence.

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