No, you didn't read the headline wrong. Websites are now free for New York businesses, according to Google's new website, NewYorkGetOnline.com, which promotes Google's services to New York businesses. It's also a clever way for Google to sell more AdWords.
In conjunction with the new deal they have made with Intuit, Google is now offering free websites - built with the Intuit product - as well as domain names and help setting up AdWords accounts.
Why is Google doing this? According to the website:
Small businesses are vital to America's economic future; the nation's 27.5M small businesses comprise half the US GDP and create two-thirds of all new jobs. While 97% of Americans look online for local products and services, 52% of New York small businesses do not have a website. That's a lot of small businesses that are virtually invisible to potential customers looking online.
In conjunction with this new product, Google is also doing events throughout the state. YNN in Albany attended one of the events in Troy, N.Y., and noted a turnout of around 500 business people. Google for their part gave the people a lot of information about online marketing.
The clever part of this is a domain name, hosting, and web help would cost them under $100 for the free year. But the event noted you need to drive traffic to your site and AdWords purchases can help with that. So inside of the first two months they should recoup the investment from AdWords spends and the rest is profit.
Free websites have been around forever and have always been profitable through the placing of ads. Now Google can do it by training people about PPC traffic for their free websites.
It will be interesting to see how this impacts the web design small businesses in the state. When Google gives it away what do people who make money from these services do?
Whatever new business they go into, at least they can get a free website for it from Google.