Domains Technology

Squarespace’s Acquisition of Google Domains: What it Means for You

Last week Squarespace Inc. announced the acquisition of the assets associated with Google Domains​​. This surprising move is a significant milestone in the domain industry, with potential implications for both Google Domain owners and Squarespace itself​​. 

The Deal

Squarespace’s decision to acquire Google Domains includes approximately 10 million domains across millions of customers​​. Squarespace has committed to honoring all existing Google Domains customers’ renewal prices for at least 12 months following the transaction, expected in the third quarter of 2023​​. The company will also leverage Google’s infrastructure during the migration period to ensure a seamless transfer of domains.

In addition, Squarespace, already a long-time reseller of Google Workspace, will become the exclusive domain provider for any customer purchasing a domain along with their Workspace subscription from Google directly for a minimum of three years.

What it Means for Google Domain Owners

Existing Google Domain owners may be wondering what this move means for them. The primary assurance is that Squarespace will honor all existing Google Domains customers’ renewal prices for at least a year post-acquisition. Customers won’t see any immediate price hikes for their domain renewals.

However, Squarespace is known to be a more expensive domain registrar than Google, charging $20 per year minimum, which is significantly higher than Google’s $12 for most domains​. While Squarespace has committed to honoring Google’s domain renewal prices for the next year, it is unclear what pricing structure will be in place after this period.

The user base of Google Domains is diverse, and the reaction to this transition might vary based on their needs and familiarity with Squarespace. Tech-savvy customers who chose Google Domains for its features and familiarity with the Google ecosystem might be less inclined to stick with Squarespace, known for catering to less tech-oriented users. On the other hand, those who trust the Google brand and those who bought Workspace packages might find the transition to Squarespace smoother​​.

What it Means for Squarespace

This acquisition could be a significant opportunity for Squarespace. The company already manages millions of domains, and this deal will substantially increase its user base. The primary appeal of this acquisition for Squarespace seems to be the opportunity to cross-sell its website packages to existing Google Domains customers​.

This acquisition also comes with the bonus that Squarespace will be the exclusive registrar for domains purchased with Google Workspace subscriptions for the next three years when these subscriptions are purchased directly from Google​​.

However, it is essential to note that while the acquisition includes approximately 10 million domains, the number of unique customers is likely significantly less, which could impact Squarespace’s potential gains from cross-selling​.

Closing Thoughts

The Squarespace acquisition of Google Domains is a significant event in the domain industry. For Google Domain owners, this move will mean changes in managing their domains and, potentially, pricing structures after the initial 12-month period. This acquisition could represent a considerable opportunity for Squarespace to grow its customer base and cross-sell its offerings.

The overall impact of this acquisition will unfold over time, and both Google Domain owners and Squarespace will need to navigate through the transition period. For Google, the decision to sell its domain business could have been driven by multiple factors, including the complexities of managing a domain registrar, as Namecheap CEO Richard Kirkendall​ suggested.

It’s worth noting that other domain registrars might also benefit from this deal. With Google out of the picture, they may see an opportunity to attract customers not interested in migrating to Squarespace or looking for alternatives post-acquisition​.

Despite the uncertainties and potential challenges, Squarespace’s acquisition of Google Domains is indicative of the continued evolution of the domain name industry. The factors to watch in the upcoming months will be how well Squarespace can capitalize on this opportunity and ensure a smooth transition for Google Domains’ customers.

In the meantime, as a Google Domains customer, it would be wise to stay informed about the acquisition updates and note the commitments made by Squarespace, particularly the promise to honor existing renewal prices for at least 12 months. This can help you plan for potential changes and make informed decisions about your domain management.

Ultimately, the goal is to ensure that your online presence remains solid and uninterrupted, regardless of which platform you choose to manage your domain.

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