Google apparently has its eye on larger piece of the Internet. The search giant announced Monday it is testing a custom domain registration service called Google Domains. Google said it decided to launch the service, which still in an invite-only beta mode, after learning that 55 percent of small businesses did not have a website.
While the service will give people the ability to buy customized URLs, Google won’t provide the actual site hosting. Partners such as Wix, Weebly, Shopify, and Squarespace will provide hosting and website building services to registrants. A key factor for Google I imagine is the opportunity for them to bundle in packages which allow the business with the new domain the ability to rapidly integrate it with Google + and promote it with Google AdWords. These kinds of services have been offered by domain suppliers in the past but the relative costs have proved problematic. If a domain provider is only charging $20 per month for site design and hosting tacking on a marketing cost which might be 10 or 10 times that price which nets almost mothing to the folks promoting the service hasn’t historically sat well. If Google is in charge I feel confident they will make that case more compellingly.
Google Domains will offer services such as domain forwarding, customizable sub-domains, and no-cost private registration. In addition to offering access to hundreds new domains such as .guru and .photography, the service will create up to 100 email aliases based on the domain of choice
Google’s presence in the sector could prove disruptive, especially for leading domain registrar GoDaddy, which filed papers two weeks for an initial public offering that could be worth more than $100 million. While GoDaddy has 57 million domains under its management, controlling roughly 30 percent of the domain registrar market, the company revealed earlier this month that it had net losses of nearly $200 million on $1.13 billion in revenue in 2013.