Google Domains has registered its last domain. Google announced in July that the service was getting shut down and that it had struck a deal with Squarespace to sell off the existing customer base. Part of that transition process means winding down the existing Google Domains functionality. 9to5Google was the first site to notice that you can no longer buy a domain through the service while it waits for the Google Grim Reaper to arrive.
Google Domain’s homepage has a notice explaining that this all apparently went down a few days ago, saying, “On September 7, 2023 Squarespace acquired all domain registrations and related customer accounts from Google Domains. Customers and domains will be transitioned over the next few months.” You can still manage existing domains on Google Domains, but that’s it.
Google Domains has been around since 2015 and spent seven of those years in “beta.” The product exited beta status in 2022, only to be killed about a year later. For a while, it was a great service, with a clean, easy-to-use interface that stood in contrast to many domain registrars, especially in the early days.
The Domains shutdown is one of the more surprising entries in the Google Graveyard lately. Free Google products die all the time, but this was a paid service, and it’s hard to imagine selling domains for $12 a year wasn’t a profitable business. As one of the world’s largest Internet companies, Google Domains also had an incredible amount of synergy with the rest of Google.
Domains felt like a big booster for Google Workspace, allowing customers to register a domain and then use that domain for a custom business email, all with a single company. Blogger (will Blogger ever die?) lets people make a website; since you’ll need a domain to put that on, why not buy one through Google? Developers might build some kind of service on Google Cloud, and they could get a domain from the same place. Google regularly spearheads a push for new TLDs, and Domains was a big part of that, allowing Google to quickly start selling them. (Some of these new TLDs like .zip were a terrible idea, while others like .blog seem fine.)
None of that was enough to justify keeping the service around, though. Google says it is killing off Domains to “sharpen our focus.”