Google Attempts To Shake Up Domain Registration Industry

Google is going to attempt give the domain name registration business a shakeup launching a beta invitation-only service that will see domain registrations in the US going for $12 per year.Justifying their foray into another field, Google claim their “research shows that 55 percent of small businesses still don’t have [a domain name].”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.”The service will be invitation-only to begin and unless you go through the procedure of applying for an invitation, there seems no way of knowing how many TLDs the service will cover. But currently Google is only accredited to sell domain names for seven gTLDs – .biz, .com, .info, .name, .net, .org, and .pro. Google’s blurb refers to being able to choose “.com, .biz, .org or any of the wide range of new domains that are being released to the Web.” This would assume they will be signing the 2013 RAA quite soon.Additionally, as many ccTLDs and gTLDs cost registrars much more than this, it is likely that the number of TLDs available will be limited.The service will also provide tools to easily build a website (extra cost), no additional cost for private registration, up to 100 email aliases, customisable sub-domains and easy domain forwarding, most of which existing registrars provide.The announcement is also likely to impact on GoDaddy the most and in a couple of significant ways – one is to provide competition on price and the other is that GoDaddy, about to launch an IPO, could see the value of the company reduced.”This puts them in direct competition with GoDaddy,” said Keith Timimi, chairman of VML Qais, a digital marketing service agency, reported BBC News.Google, already an ICANN-accredited registrar, signed the 2009 Registrar Accreditation Agreement that allowed it the option of applying for accreditation to sell the 17 gTLDs prior to the new gTLD expansion.It may be worrying for existing registrars of the might of Google, but it would likely raise the ire of antitrust authorities, in the US and Europe in particular, should their search services give preference to Google as a registrar.