The Impact of Squarespace Acquisition of Google Domains on Web Design & Google Sites
What does this mean for websites using Google Domains? What will change with your domain name, website or Google Sites?
Squarespace's Purchase of Google Domains — What it Means for Customers
Google has been quite clear with what is happening with Google Domains on their official Google Domains Help page for the community. Essentially what has happened is that Squarespace bought the rights to all the domain names registered with Google Domains. Google Domains will not longer be the Domain Registrar, Squarespace will.
How Squarespace owning Google Domains impact customers?
As Google has stated, there is "no immediate impact" and no action necessary. Your domain settings, renewal and interface will transition to being managed through Squarespace. Some customer reactions have been mixed, with many stating they appreciated the easy user experience with Google Domains. Squarespace will still resell Google Workspace as they have before, but not just purely marketed by their website builder. Squarespace Domains have an influx of Google Domains registrations integrated into their Workspace and website builder market.
Why did Squarespace buy Google Domains?
When someone registers a domain name, soon after, what are they presented with as far as advertising is concerned? A website builder platform to get their business online. On the official Squarespace newsroom press release, Squarespace purchased Google Domains to "serve the customers of the Google Domains business" and "provide additional incentives to encourage Google Domains customers to build a website with Squarespace and adopt other Squarespace offerings."
Does Squarespace buying Google Domains affect your Google Sites website?
No. If you were a customer of Google Domains and built a website with Google Sites, your website will be completely unaffected. Squarespace did not acquire Google Sites, which is part of Google Suite / Google Workspace. Squarespace's agreement to acquire Google Domains assets does not include Google Sites. However, Google Domains was probably a solid entry point for many domain purchasers to start their websites with Google Sites. As a result, we may see less Google Sites being created since this avenue is assumed to close.
Your website will continue to run because you are pointing domain DNS records to Google Sites and that is determined by your inputs. You don't have to move your domains away from Squarespace or Google Domains. It isn't mandatory you build your website with Squarespace if you domain will be on Squarespace domains, likewise you weren't forced to build your website with Google Sites when choosing Google Domains.
The customer experience will probably no longer be a marketplace for site builder options
The customers of Google Domains probably won't be given a variety of website designing options after this move by Squarespace. The current Web Design - Get Started page of Google Domains presents a gallery of no code site builders like Wix, Weebly, Google Sites, Shopify and Wordpress. No doubt this will all be funneled to Squarespace's own website creation product. We've built Squarespace websites for years and it, like Google Sites, has its strengths and weaknesses. We have long recommended it for any ecommerce focused websites.
Is Google Sites next in line to be shut down / sunset / retired?
This is pure speculation. I do not think Google Sites is the next Google product to be shut down because Google Sites is part of Google Workspace core applications suite. Google Sites is more closely aligned with Google Workspace and Google Drive than Google Domains. Also, Google Sites is primarily designed as a corporate intranet solution akin to Microsoft Sharepoint. The difference is, Google Sites is also a very capable site builder for public websites too.