Google is shaking up the domain industry with their latest announcement. It was only a matter of time before Google got into the domain business. They’re into everything else!
A couple of days ago, Google quietly announced that it would be offering domain registration services to a select group of invited users. Although, Google has been an ICANN-accredited registrar since 2005, they have never offered domain registrations as a service open to the public. Google registrar is still in beta mode, but once they get through the testing phase, they should be opening up to the public.
Here are some of the key features and benefits that come along with Google’s domain registration service:
- $12 domain registrations
- Access to new gTLDs
- Free whois privacy
- Free email
- Free domain forwarding
- Free phone and email support
- Customizable sub-domains
- Managed under Google’s reliable infrastructure
- Simple Google-style domain management interface
- Easy integration with top website builders (additional cost)
This move by Google has got a lot of existing registrars feeling somewhat nervous about the new power player to join the market. Not only does Google have a stronghold in the search industry, but their reach is massive within the small business community. According to a research done by Google, over 55% of small businesses still do not have a website. This is the huge untapped market that Google is trying to go after. Think of all the cross-selling that they can do for their own products, as well as partner services like website builders.
I believe Google will begin to take considerable market share in the first few months of them opening their services to the general public. At $12 per registration, they are far from being the lowest cost, but the price is not bad considering they offer free whois privacy and you have the stability of a strong company like Google. Sometimes, it’s not all about pricing – customer service and reliability is also important. This is especially true for domainers who take system stability very seriously. Look at the recent Moniker disaster… many domainers are moving their domains away to other registrars. Furthermore, it appears to me that Google is going after the small business base, not domainers, so I don’t think having the lowest price is their priority. Fair pricing and reliable service seems to be their main selling points.
What do you think about Google joining the domain business?