With the launch of web page creation tool Page Creator, Google has entered the web hosting business, in what appears to be yet another effort to play catch-up with Yahoo.
Google has launched a browser-based web page creation tool for Gmail users.
The company has released Page Creator, and has been offering 100MB of free hosting space at GooglePages.com to users of its Gmail service. The service closed its doors to new signups shortly after its launch, but it was not clear whether it was due to its popularity causing technical issues or whether it was part of a pre-planned limited rollout, as Google claimed.
The move to simple hosting was almost inevitable. Google has spent the last couple of years building or buying new services – maps, chat, and the like – to help it compete with the likes of Yahoo and MSN.
But the hosting service does not seem initially targeted at the small business segment that Yahoo targets. If users choose Google-allocated URLs for their pages, they will look something like example.googlepages.com.
While Google is an accredited domain name registrar, the company told us it has no plans to sell domains anytime soon. If users want to use their own domains, they’ll have to configure them to forward to the googlepages.com URL.
The allocated third-level domain will be identical to the users’ Gmail address. Some observed that this will make it exceptionally easy for spammers to farm gmail.com email addresses with a simple search on Google itself.
There are safeguards and monitors in place to check for spam pages, however. In addition, users will be restricted to uploading files no bigger than 10MB, to prevent bandwidth leeches. There will be no support for FTP, databases or scripting.
As far as revenue goes, Google has no monetization at launch, and would not say whether it will offer subscription-based premium versions of the service in future. Advertising along the lines of what Google currently provides bloggers seems likely.