Posted July 19, 2011 1:42 pm by with 4 comments

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This one is pretty interesting just due to the sheer scope of the idea. I haven’t seen the latest statistics of what percentage of SMB’s still don’t have a website (used to be in the 50% range surprisingly enough). This kind of effort from Google, however, shows that something must be there. If there isn’t “gold in them thar hills!” it’s not likely Google is getting near it, right?

So check out the Texas Get Your Business Online effort and let us know what you think.

Thanks to Linda Buquet of Catalyst eMarketing for bringing this to our attention.

  • Hey Frank, thanks for the credit. I scooped but your title’s better. 😉

    Appreciate you!

  • I think they know there is volume in the smb vertical and local but they dont want to work for it. So they partner with in this cas intuit, or reach local etc. However, I dont believe the end user is going to get as good a return vs. hiring a consultant. Of course I am bias as a consultant.

  • I’m primarily a coder and living in Texas. I have to admit, my first thoughts were extremely self-serving. Then I saw that it’s almost all self serve. Well, it was worth a shot.

    Alright: Dislikes first to get them out of the way. 3 pages max, no email, and $24 a year for a domain name after the first year. A la carte services look like they can add up quickly to exceed the cost of most basic web hosts. Nothing leads me to believe that the brick & mortar stores are going to be mobile friendly — which currently seems desirable for a brick & mortar. The restrictions are giving me serious flashbacks to Angelfire’s 35 Kilobytes of free hosting service. Yes. I was there. I even had cassette tapes of Nirvana and White Zombie. (Please make the memories stop.) Not comfortable with the businesses getting a year of bait then monthly charges.

    Odd: There are tons of web designers and firms in Austin, TX. There were advertisements for a seminar about this very program on the radio today. I think if anyone in Austin wants to be online then they almost certainly know someone who can help. It’s like finding a bad poet in a Starbucks.

    Likes: A la carte services look like they will still cost less per month than having even a low-wage college student come in for half a day a month. I can’t stand looking for a local business and only finding yellow pages results, and I like this as an alternative. I like that a good alternative exists for businesses who would otherwise have no presence.

    The likes really do outweigh the dislikes. I like this on two conditions: the business would not otherwise be online and the owners understand they only get the first year free.

  • John Cunningham

    I think my observation is less biased than MrAndrewJ (I’m not in the biz,) and I happen to agree with what he had to say.

    As someone who is not a web designer I think this could take $$ away from the little guy (small website designer) and simultaneously help a-lot of other “little-guys” get a website who might not otherwise afford them (everyone can afford free).

    Ultimately, I’d like to see Google leave this work to those who are making their living designing websites. Feels a little like Walmart; I’d rather shop from a mom & pop and buy something original.