The search engine giant is targeting the local business operator in your town. That’s the very same business operator that pays the freight for your newsroom, programming and content. For the past year, Google has been putting on small business workshops in markets large and small. Packed rooms of wide-eyed proprietors gather for a half day of online marketing tips and digital best practices.
As a very effective lure for this ‘Get Your Business Online with Google’ initiative, every business owner in attendance gets a free website complete with hosting and a domain name.
Try to attend a small business workshop with Google. You’ll see a room full of advertisers that will be encouraged to reduce their traditional ad spend in Newspaper, TV and Radio….and move those dollars to online platforms.
Is Google getting into the website building business? No. They’re actually getting into the business of building relationships with local business. Getting chummy and offering some digital love to the business community allows for future upsells and sales opportunities. These workshops act as incredible lead aggregators too. This consultative, workshop approach will also have the indirect effect of making it much harder for local media reps to sell internet services to the mom and pops.