Perhaps the only surprising thing about the news that Google’s getting into the domain name registration space is that it didn’t do it earlier.
When you consider that so much of its business is Web based and that it seems to try its hand at just about every Internet-related venture going, it’s taken a while for it to come around to the idea of registering domain names. Perhaps it’s only just found a way of making money out of it.
The service is currently in beta and is invite-only (you can register for an invitation code here), but should Google Domains get a proper launch down the road, it’ll go up against the likes of GoDaddy, a giant in the business of domain name registration. GoDaddy has been operating since 1997 and just a couple of weeks ago filed for an IPO.
Google’s service, imaginatively called Google Domains, offers a number of features for those looking to register a domain name, including:
– no additional cost for private registration (a fee you currently have to pay with GoDaddy)
– creation of up to 100 email aliases, eg. help@your_company.com or sales@your_company.com, and so on.
– domain forwarding enabling you to point your domain to an existing one.
– domain management tools
– support for the hundreds of new domain endings (.guru, .photography, etc.) rolling out over the next few years
– phone and email support
Google won’t offer hosting for websites, but has partnered with services such as Squarespace and Wix to provide hosting services to its customers.
“We aren’t ready for everyone to join yet (you currently need an invitation code to buy or transfer a domain), so we want those who join to play an active role in helping us improve,” the Mountain View company said on its new Google Domains page. “We’re working hard to offer our customers the best domain experience possible, and we welcome your input, questions and feedback.”
Recent research conducted by Google showed that just over half of small businesses are operating without a website. It’s this group Google will be focusing on once its new domain name registration service is open to all.