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1000s jump on Google, MYOB web offer

MYOB and Google's joint offer to create and host a website for Australian small businesses for free has seen 4100 businesses take to the web, according to the two companies.

MYOB and Google's joint offer to create and host a website for Australian small businesses for free has seen 4100 businesses take to the web, according to the two companies.

The offer sees Google and MYOB freely host businesses' websites for a year. After that, businesses can keep the site by paying $5 per month. The website creation tool also enables the businesses to register a domain name for free — which will need to be re-registered when it expires after two years for a cost of around $30 a year.

On average, eight businesses have set up a business website every hour since launch, according to Google and MYOB. They hope to see 50,000 businesses take up the offer this year.

"It's a clear sign that once you remove the barriers of cost, lack of knowledge and time for Aussie business owners, they are keen to get online and be part of the digital economy," Tim Reed, CEO of MYOB, said in a statement.

One of the businesses to take up the service was cake designer Cakes by Nadia. The owner, Nadia French, put information such as opening times, a photo gallery of her cakes, and links to her Facebook and Twitter pages on her new website.

"It's imperative for a small business to have this sort of online presence," she said in a statement. "Customers simply don't think you're legitimate without one and Getting Aussie Business Online has filled that need for me very easily and fast."

"More than a million Aussie businesses don't have a website, so we really hope as many as possible take Nadia's lead and get a free website and get ahead," Reed said.

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