A couple weeks ago, some eagle-eyed watchers noticed that Google had registered more than 100 domain names ending in “getonline.com”.
Now, we know what they’re for: Google is leading a campaign to give free Web sites to small businesses.
The first site, TexasGetOnline.com, launched yesterday, and offers a free small business Web site hosted by Intuit, a $75 credit toward AdWords purchases, and a free local listing on Google Places.
It’s a smart move by Google — only half of small businesses are online, which means there are lots of potential AdWords customers sitting idle because they don’t have a Web site to guide users to. It could also help build demand for Google Offers, the company’s new daily deals service, as it spreads across the country.