Squarespace Buys Google Domains

Google’s domain registrar service joins the ‘Google graveyard’

The service remains on Google's product page while Google and Squarespace await regulatory approvals. Photo by Josh Levin.

By Josh Levin
Published June 22, 2023 | Updated February 18, 2024 at 10:27 am

Web host Squarespace announced June 15 that it will purchase the assets of Google Domains, which will cease operations later this year.

Once Google Domains shuts down, Squarespace will handle billing and registration for millions of Google Domains customers, according to Squarespace. “Upon closing, Squarespace […] will become the exclusive domains provider for any customer purchasing a domain along with their Workspace subscription from Google directly,” Squarespace stated.

Squarespace said it will honor Google’s renewal prices for at least 12 months, after which time it may begin to raise prices. Google has not yet communicated news of the buyout to customers aside from an article in their help center.

The acquisition includes the registration for more than 10 million domains, according to Squarespace. Anonymous sources told Bloomberg that the acquisition cost Squarespace about $180 million.

“The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2023, and is subject to certain regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions,” Squarespace stated.

Google Domains went into general availability just 14 months ago. It had previously been in beta since 2015, according to Google.

The buyout is causing many Google Domains customers to transfer their domains to other registrars, including Cloudflare, Namecheap and Porkbun. “You will continue to have the ability to move your domain(s) to another registrar,” Google stated.

The acquisition also led to conversations about Google’s poor reputation for product longevity.

“I am absolutely shocked,” Killed by Google, a website which documents products which Google discontinued, jokingly stated on Twitter. “When I say this is an unexpected move, I mean initially purchased killedbygoogle.com using Google Domains for the irony factor in September 2018.”

The acquisition came less than four weeks after Google released .zip and .mov top-level domains — a move which evoked criticism from some security experts.

Stated Matt Madrigal, vice president and general manager of merchant shopping at google, “Supporting a smooth transition for customers over the coming months, with the help of the Google Domains team, is our top priority.”

Josh Levin is the founder and editor in chief of The Terabyte Tribune, handling all aspects of operations and coverage. He can be reached via email at [email protected]