Google Domains Shutting Down - Google Selling Google Domains Accounts to Squarespace

Google Domains Sale to Squarespace – Don’t Rely on Google

Intro

Google Domains is fresh out of beta and now being sold to Squarespace. You read that correctly – Google Domains is joining the Google graveyard. RIP. This deal, and how Google is handling it, is unethical and really grinds our gears. As of the time of producing this episode, Google has yet to inform us of this transaction. We had to find out about this on Twitter.

However, this is a blessing in disguise, as this was the final nail in the coffin that was the last remaining shred of trust we had in Google. This was the nudge we needed to move our business to providers that actually respect their paying customers.

If you rely on Google, you should, at a minimum, have a contingency plan in case they either shut down services you’re relying on or shut you down for some dubious reason. We realize that changing service providers can be difficult. If you’d like help with this in our one-on-one consulting sessions, fill out the short form below. 

Podcast

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Hey everybody, welcome back to the Bigger Insights Technology podcast where we’ll help

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you stay ahead of the curve.

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In this episode, we’re going to discuss Google’s pending sale of Google Domains to Squarespace

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and why you shouldn’t rely on Google for anything important.

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This is especially pertinent to those of you who have domains registered with Google, but

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more broadly applies to anyone using Google services, whether that be Gmail, Google Drive,

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Google Calendar, Google Workspaces, or whatever they’re calling it these days, and so on.

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So just real quick for those of you unfamiliar with domain registration: When you want to

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build a website or use your own domain for email, you need to register a domain with

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a domain registrar.

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You give them some money, they register the domain in your name, and you tweak the records

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and settings to facilitate whatever you’re trying to accomplish with your domain.

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It’s pretty straightforward.

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Google Domains is a domain name registrar that launched in 2014.

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So it’s not that old, and it was in beta until just recently in 2022.

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When Bigger Insights was founded in 2020, one of the things that we had to do was choose

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a domain registrar.

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Unfortunately, it didn’t seem at the time that there were many great options.

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We’ve read a lot of complaints about some of the bigger names like GoDaddy, and ironically,

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Namecheap is no longer relatively cheap.

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One of the things that we do, if you’re not familiar with our work, is produce the Bigger

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Insights Privacy & Security podcast, and we do one-on-one privacy and security consulting

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services.

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So we’re very familiar with the privacy risks that Google poses, but we ultimately decided

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to register our domain with Google because Google has a solid security track record.

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And obviously, a domain isn’t something that you want to get compromised.

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Everything was fine for a few years up until about a couple of weeks ago.

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I was on Twitter and happened to notice that one of the trending topics was “Google Domains”.

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“That’s interesting.”

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I thought, “I wonder what’s going on there.”

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So I clicked on it to see what the buzz was about, and was pretty irritated to see that

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Google is selling their Domains accounts to Squarespace.

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Now why was I irritated?

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Well, a domain is a critical part of a business.

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Domain transfers and management is pretty trivial, but researching and vetting registrars

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is not.

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Each registrar has its own pricing, which can be more confusing than you’d think.

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Some prices include WHOIS privacy protection, whereas others do not.

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Some offer better support for DNSSEC than others.

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Each has their own terms of service and privacy policies.

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Each offers different two-factor authentication (2FA/MFA) options.

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So on that front, for example, we would refuse to use a registrar that requires or only offers

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SMS for two-factor authentication because SMS security is hot garbage and we should

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be ashamed as a species that we’re still using it for security purposes.

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But that’s a topic for another episode.

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This is actually one of the reasons why we haven’t produced any content for the past

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couple of weeks.

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Among other things, we had to spend a decent amount of time evaluating our registrar options,

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setting up an account at a new registrar, and transferring our domain.

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We ended up moving to Porkbun if that matters to you, but don’t take that as an endorsement

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at this time because we obviously don’t have a lot of experience with them yet, but we

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like what we’ve seen so far.

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Alright, so we had to do some work that we didn’t want to do and we weren’t planning

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on doing, but it is their property and it is their right to sell it.

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So, no big deal.

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But another thing that really grinds our gears is that Google has yet to even inform us that

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this is what they’re doing.

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Now maybe that’s one of the terms of their purchase agreement, which if it is, that’s

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on them, but we think this is pretty unethical.

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Google Domains customers should all be notified by Google that they’re selling their accounts

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to Squarespace for a number of reasons.

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Customers may not want to do business with Squarespace.

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Maybe their price is too high,

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they don’t like their policies or reputation, or they may not even offer the features that

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they need.

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Why should we, a paying customer, have to find out that this is what’s going on through Twitter?

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Even worse than that, if you go to domains.google, which is the home page for Google Domains,

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you won’t see a single word about this sale anywhere on that page, at least not at the

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time of this recording.

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Don’t you think that customers and prospective customers should be made aware of that?

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Like, “Hey, by the way, you can purchase a domain, but we’re shutting the service down

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and we will sell your domain to Squarespace later this year.”

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The only thing that I see that may have changed is there’s a little asterisk next to the top

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level domain prices, which says “Starting price per year”.

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That’s all it says. But they probably did that because you’re going to get jacked up

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when Squarespace starts charging you $20 or more later on.

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We certainly would never treat our paying customers this way.

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We charge by the hour for our consulting services, but just imagine for a moment that we used

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a subscription model like Google Domains. And imagine that one day you request a meeting

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with us and instead of us being on the call, it’s another company.

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What happened,

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you might be wondering? Well, without telling you, we sold your account and data to another

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company that you may or may not want to do business with and that charges a higher rate.

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How would you feel about that?

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So far, that’s what Google is trying to do with us and we just don’t tolerate that kind

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of behavior here at Bigger Insights.

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We deserve to know what’s going on and what’s being planned for our paid accounts.

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That’s just basic business ethics.

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Now, specifically to Squarespace, we did actually spend some time evaluating whether

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being sold to them was acceptable.

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We didn’t just switch to Porkbun out of spite. Although if I’m being honest, it does feel

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good to take the sale away from Google and close our Google Pay account.

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It feels great to be the one shutting Google down as opposed to the other way around.

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You should try it sometime.

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This grinds our gears as well because we couldn’t easily find clear information on what simply

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having our domain at Squarespace was going to cost us at renewal time.

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Their service seems to assume that you’re going to host your website there, which we

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had no intention of changing website hosts.

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We ended up seeing a number of forums where people were saying basically the same thing,

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that a domain at Squarespace will cost you about $20 to $70 per year.

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Nominally, that’s not a huge difference. But in percentage terms, that’s a pretty big

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jump from the $12 that Google was charging, and especially from the $9.73 that Porkbun

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is charging us.

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And that’s kind of a deal-breaker for us.

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If we have to get the information we need about what you’re offering from third-party

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forums, that’s a red flag.

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If you’ve ever been to Squarespace’s website, you’ll see what I’m talking about.

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There are a lot of pictures and flowery words, but it’s too difficult to get details about

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what you’re actually paying for and what it costs.

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I’m literally on their homepage right now, and it says virtually nothing about just hosting

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a domain there.

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It’s basically all geared toward building a website, which we already have. Contrast that

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with Porkbun. I’m on their homepage, right at the top of it,

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there’s a search bar for domains, a transfer link to transfer an existing domain, and it

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says right there that a .com domain is $9.73.

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You scroll down a little bit, it says WHOIS privacy is included in the price for top

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level domains (TLD) that support that.

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This is great.

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Isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be?

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No BS, just the information we need.

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Now, we’re not dense, and we realize that some or none of this might not sound like

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a big deal to you. But the final thing that we’re going to talk about, which may be a

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big deal to you, is that Google is notorious for shutting down its services.

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We’re not going to endorse this because we don’t know much about it or its owner, but

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there’s a site called Killed by Google at killedbygoogle.com, and it lists the various apps, services,

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and hardware that Google has killed over the years.

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At the time of this recording, there are 288 items in this graveyard, including Google

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Domains, Google+, which nobody misses, let’s be honest, and I’m actually just learning

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about this as I record this, but I see that they’re also killing off Google Cloud IoT

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Core, which is interesting.

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I actually tweeted a reply on Twitter about Elon Musk not paying his Google Cloud bill

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and how we wouldn’t trust or want to rely on Google Cloud either.

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Just look at their reputation.

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If you’re running an IoT company and you’re just now finding out that they’re shutting

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down IoT Core, that can be a big deal for you.

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I worked at a job in a past life where we used Google services, and I remember how confusing

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and disruptive it was when they had two or three instant messaging apps at the same time.

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They ended up killing off Google Hangouts, which we used extensively, not my call.

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So I don’t even know what the current messaging app that they’re on now is called, nor do

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I care because we try to use Google as little as possible, but we’re guessing that its days

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are numbered as well.

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So next time you’re in the shower or staring off into the sunset, think about what Google

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services you’re using and what it would mean for you, your family, or your business if Google

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shuts down one of those services or they shut you down for some reason, which they’re also

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known to do.

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Did you ever hear that story about Google permanently shutting some guy’s account down

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because he sent medical images of his son’s junk to his doctor because he had a rash?

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The doctor ended up writing a prescription for it, but Google detected the image and

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shut this guy’s account down, and sent his data to law enforcement, and this included

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his email, calendar, contacts, mobile phone service, internet, and probably other services

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that he was using, if you can believe that.

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There was also a case where Google suspended some company’s Play Store account because

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one of their former employees violated policies three years after leaving the company.

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Can you believe that?

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I mean, what a disaster.

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And we’ll probably go over those and other stories in a separate episode in our Privacy

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& Security podcast, but just think about that sometime.

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Those are the dice you roll when you use Google services.

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So ironically, we chose Google Domains because we thought this was a safe, reliable place

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to host our domain.

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Well, lesson learned. Whatever shred of trust we had left in Google, which was pretty thin

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to begin with, is now gone.

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It is now a Bigger Insights Company policy to no longer pay for any Google services.

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Sorry, Google, but not sorry.

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People and businesses have better things to do at their time than get jerked around by

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your short-sighted decisions and lack of ethics and communication.

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And we think that others should do the same.

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Do you really trust these people?

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Do you feel comfortable with them holding your property and your data?

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Even if you don’t care about their creepy privacy practices, which you should if you

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know what’s good for you, do you feel that your data and services are secure with Google,

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in terms of them actually being there down the road when you need them?

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People on Twitter are talking about Firebase and other services that may be next on the

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chopping block, but that’s obviously just speculation at this point.

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And as far as we’re concerned, good riddance.

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The more apps and services Google shuts down, the more they tarnish their reputation and

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show users that they are not a company that you can rely on.

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Alright, rant complete.

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Don’t forget to subscribe and share this podcast so we can share this message with as many

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people as we can.

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We’re also now accepting Monero, Bitcoin, and Litecoin contributions.

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So if you can spare some coin, go ahead and help us out so we can keep this going.

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We’ll put the addresses to those wallets in the description.

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Running a podcast and a business is more expensive than you might realize, so every

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bit helps.

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And when we say that, you know, we’re not really trying to rake you guys over the coals.

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As you might guess, based on the content we produce, Big Tech companies like Google really

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aren’t fans of our work, so it hardly sees the light of day.

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So we could really use your help, not just for our own sake, but also to help us break

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through Big Tech suppression and reach a larger audience.

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If you’re still using Google services, start working on a contingency plan.

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And if you’d like some assistance, we can help you break up with Google and other Big

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Tech companies that pull the same shenanigans in one-on-one sessions.

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So if that sounds interesting to you, go to our website, biggerinsights.com, and fill

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out the short form at the bottom of the page so we can schedule your initial consultation.

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All right, that’s it for this episode.

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Thanks for tuning in and have a great rest of your day.

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Planning - Concepting - Whiteboard - Tax Planning Tips - Asset Location - Asset Placement Finance

Asset Location: Reducing Taxes & Simplifying Your Tax Return

Asset Location (AKA Asset Placement) is a strategy for organizing your assets in such a way as to reduce tax burden, simplify your tax return, and manage risk. We discuss our Asset Location strategies, which includes specifics about tax treatment for growth stocks, dividend stocks, taxable bonds, real estate investment ...
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Drake - Bad Choice-Good Choice - Linux vs Windows macOS ChromeOS Technology

Linux Doesn’t Suck – Here’s Why Even Normies Should Use It

Linux has long been viewed as a science fair project for nerds. We explain why Linux doesn’t suck and why it's now usable even for normies. Some of the items discussed: Issues with Windows, ease of use, performance (efficient use of resources), hardware support, application support, OS licensing, concerns about ...
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Email - Mobile Phone - Privacy and Security - Technology - Hands Privacy & Security

Email is Insecure – Stop Using it for Sensitive Communications

Email is the primary means of sending messages and documents for many people. Unfortunately, email was never designed to be private or secure. Over time, we’ve developed several tools and techniques to help make it more secure. But at the end of the day, no matter how uncomfortable it makes ...
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Woman Shopping - Holding Shopping Bags - Retail - Spending Money Finance

What Does it Mean to be Able to Afford Something?

Most everyone will agree that you shouldn’t buy things that you can’t afford, yet so many do. Why is that? It seems to us that one of the reasons for this is because many don’t know what it means to be able to afford something. Spoiler alert – it doesn’t ...
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