Google Domains is another valuable service that is being discontinued in favor of a renewed “focus.”

Eight years after its inception, Google Domains is in the process of winding down, a little over a year after exiting the beta phase. Google cites the need to refine its focus as the reason for this decision, essentially indicating a cost-cutting move. Consequently, they are selling the business, which they recently fine-tuned, to Squarespace.

At its launch, Google Domains was not the most budget-friendly domain registrar, but it distinguished itself with a user-friendly interface, an extensive selection of over 300 domain extensions (including somewhat controversial ones like .mov and .zip), and a straightforward annual fee of $12, free from additional charges such as WHOIS privacy or DNSSEC.

Google Domains integrated seamlessly with various other Google services, including Gmail, Workspace, Cloud, Ads, and more. However, it lacked a website-building engine, which is typically what you encounter when you visit a domain. To address this gap, Domains provided quick connections to services like Shopify, Wix, and Squarespace. Now, Squarespace is poised to take over the entire business, including roughly 10 million domains and the corresponding millions of customers.

Squarespace reassures Google Domains customers on its landing page that their domains are in capable hands. During the migration, Squarespace will leverage “Google’s infrastructure” and maintain renewal prices for at least 12 months after the acquisition’s completion. Google Workspace customers who received a domain as part of their package will transition to Squarespace.

The deal between the two companies is expected to conclude in the third quarter of 2023, subject to regulatory approval. Additional information about what lies ahead for Domains customers can be found on Google’s About page. Fortunately, no job cuts or staffing changes have been announced as part of this transition.

Despite any effort to make the transition smooth and orderly, this sale reinforces Google’s image as a company that readily abandons projects outside its core advertising business, even those that have matured and appear to align with Google accounts.

Interestingly, this move comes in the same year as the shutdown of Google’s cloud-gaming service, Stadia, which took some game developers by surprise. Just recently, Google also discontinued its Grasshopper app, designed to teach coding skills to beginners. Thankfully, Google Domains customers are spared the hassle of manually transferring their domains elsewhere, a cumbersome and sometimes anxiety-inducing process for those with numerous sensitive domains. However, if they are dissatisfied with Squarespace’s domain management, they may eventually opt to migrate elsewhere.