Google Wants to Be a Domain Registrar, Starts Testing Out New Service

Google Domains is only available through invitation code for now

By on June 24th, 2014 08:20 GMT

Google seems to have set its eyes on yet another piece of the Internet as the company has announced that it has started to test a custom domain registration service dubbed Google Domains.

“So as we explore ways to help small businesses succeed online (through tools like Google My Business), we thought it made sense to look more closely at the starting point of every business’s online presence - a website. And that starts with a domain name,” writes the company in a Google+ post as it tries to explain its decision to venture into yet another area of the Internet.

Google says that although it may seem obvious to many that the future of businesses everywhere is on the Internet since looking for a website is the first thing anyone does, 55 percent of small businesses still don’t have one.

“We’re beginning to invite a small number of people to kick the tires on Google Domains, a domain registration service we’re in the process of building. Businesses will be able to search, find, purchase and transfer the best domain for their business - whether it’s .com, .biz, .org, or any of the wide range of new domains that are being released to the Web,” Google writes, pointing out that there are indeed quite a few new domain names that ICANN is unleashing into the world.

Google Domains will offer a range of services, such as domain forwarding, customizable sub-domains, as well as a no-cost private registration that should really come in handy for those small businesses that Google has in mind with this new project.

Right now, however, the service isn’t fully-featured yet, although a small group of people will have the ability to buy and transfer domains through it and send feedback on their experience. An invitation code is needed to do this, unfortunately, so you should consider this before getting too excited about the new project.

“We want input on all the ways we can help make finding, buying, transferring and managing a domain a simple and transparent experience. We also want to make sure our customer support and infrastructure works flawlessly, and that we have the right additional services (like mobile website creation tools and hosting services from a range of providers, as well as domain management support),” Google states.

The Internet giant will allow people to buy customized URLs, but won’t actually provide the site hosting. Instead, it will work with partners such as Wix, Weebly, Shopify and Squarespace for this particular service.

The registration fees amount to $12 (€8.8) per year, as one Google page about the service indicates.

GoDaddy, one of the biggest domain registrars out there, will likely feel the impact of Google entering the market, which comes at a really bad time since it has already filed the paperwork for an initial public offering that could be worth around $100 million (€73.5 million).

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