Farewell Google Domains: Squarespace Steps into the Breech

You’d be forgiven for getting the feeling that Google is everywhere. But occasionally – and maybe more often than you might think – one of their services bites the dust.

Ever heard of Google Optimize? That exited the world in September 2023, but it was the other Google service that bid farewell the same month that arguably grabbed much bigger headlines.

We’re talking about Google Domains. Now, it may not have been the best-known of domain name registrars available online, but it was nine years old when it vanished. Well, not entirely vanished – the official website now carries a message that Squarespace has become the registrar for any domains you had at Google Domains. That same page also provides information about a transition period from Google Domains to Squarespace, as the new owner gets into gear.

Squarespace acquired the domain name registrar in June 2023 for $180 million. Squarespace has long been known as a website building tool, offering custom templates and web designs to help entrepreneurs get off the ground quickly and easily. Buying Google Domains would therefore appear to be a smart move – a natural one that dovetails with their current services. They’ve long since offered domain products to their existing customers, so purchasing Google Domains is a massive step toward increasing the number of domains they manage.

According to the announcement issued by Squarespace newsroom, around 10 million domains currently hosted with Google Domains will be moved over to Squarespace once the process is complete. The official press release notes that they’re aiming for a ‘smooth transition’ from Google Domains to Squarespace for the millions of customers affected.

Further, and as you might expect, Squarespace is going to honour the renewal prices customers would have received from Google Domains for 12 months following the transition – and possibly longer. They’ll no doubt be promoting their website building services to these millions of new customers too.

As for market share, Squarespace will become the fourth largest domain name registrar in the business once the sale completes. GoDaddy remains well out in front with a 11.86% share of the market as things stand at the time of writing this article. Next up is NameCheap, scoring a 2.8% share. Tucows Domains, arguably nowhere near as well known, is third with 1.72%. That percentage will be under threat from the new Squarespace acquisition, which should put them fourth with 1.55% of the market.

Clearly, this is a competitive market, and the agreement doesn’t put any pressure on GoDaddy or even NameCheap in second place. Yet it will be interesting to find out how Google Domains customers feel about the swap, and whether most of them will stay with Squarespace during and after the move.

Are you affected by the sale? Are your domains set to switch to Squarespace? Have you thought about using some of their other services or even moving your domains to another service? Let us know your thoughts about the sale and how it could potentially affect you.