Google and MYOB joined forces and launched the ‘Getting Aussie Business Online‘. The partners plan to provide 50,000 Australian small businesses with one year of basic web site hosting using MYOB’s Atlas web builder, two years of .com.au domain registration and $75 worth of Google AdWords at no charge.
Last week, the MYOB Business Monitor released findings indicating that two thirds of Australian businesses don’t have an online presence. This week, the accounting software company announced that it has joined forces with Google to give these businesses a website, launching a joint initiative called Getting Aussie Business Online.
“Australians go online first to research local products and services,” said Claire Hatton, Google’s Head of Local Business. “We want to address this gap by removing common barriers like cost and time to set up a website. We also want to make it easier for Australians to find the information they’re looking online.”
And easier it’s likely to get.
At the centre of the program is MYOB Atlas, a website creation tool. MYOB describes the tool as easy to use and, once created, easy to maintain and to update.
The website is free for the first year. After that period, business owners are invited to pay just $5 per month to keep it. This initiative also includes a .com.au domain, which is free for the first two years, and $75 worth of Google AdWords at no charge.
MYOB chief executive Tim Reed told iTnews the websites would be hosted by a third party partner (Amazon, apparently). Pending the venture’s success, MYOB is likely to have built a substantial database of Australian businesses, which it will share with Google.
What’s the commercial incentive?
Why would Google and MYOB create such a seemingly generous proposition to Australian business owner? According to the Terms & Conditions:
“You consent to the sharing of information including your Personal Information between us and Google Inc in relation to your application,” the terms and conditions state, “for the purpose of marketing MYOB or Google products to you.”
The terms and conditions also suggest that customer data is shared with the initiative’s partner host, Amazon.com:
“We may share your Personal Information with service providers we have retained to perform services on our behalf, such as providing web hosting or database management services.”
A big, bold, audacious plan.
There is nothing humble about the plan.
According to CEO of MYOB Tim Reed, “Our initial goal is to get at least 50,000 businesses set up with a free website this year.”
Only Australian businesses with a currently active ABN are eligible to create a MYOB Atlas website. The website will have a maximum size of 10MB.
Anthill has not been able to ascertain whether new participants will be able to port their free domains away from MYOB Atlas within the two-year grace period.
MYOB Atlas Preview Video
Photo by Avlxyz