back to article Checkmate, GoDaddy – Google starts flogging dot-word domain names

Google has finally launched a domain-name shop, providing a clean and simple management interface that will put it in direct competition with market leader GoDaddy. Called Google Domains, the service emerged from testing today – and allows anyone in the United States (international expansion coming soon) to register domain …

  1. Phil Endecott

    Google Sites

    I have been spectacularly unimpressed by Google's "Google Sites" website building product, having seen what a friend has managed to do using it. So I'm not entirely convinced that they are going to up-end the market, if the quality of the product is an important factor at all.

  2. Stuart 22

    Where's Michael O'Leary when you need him?

    Why are domains such a rip off?

    As a Nominet member I pay £2.50+vat/year for .uk domains. Nominet isn't exactly a low cost operator and makes a healthy surplus which is used to do good things and pay useless contractors to screw up the data validation side. But I digress. An efficient simple no-frills registry should be able to go well under this.

    Whereas I have to pay about double that for a .com, even more if I go through Google. A lot more for most of the others TLDs and some ridiculous price for .london

    How do we break the cartel and get domains at cost as the commercial model is not working for the consumer?

    1. Preston Munchensonton

      Re: Where's Michael O'Leary when you need him?

      Economics would say that the market is ripe for a disruptive force. I would have expected that to be Google, but the current announcement doesn't yet match that expectation. Given the start-up costs, most registrars aren't in the position to eat their losses while they make money on other services. GoDaddy may be able to do that. Google definitely could do that, although I'm sure that would put them in harm's way with the US Dept. of Justice and the numerous competition laws that plague the US.

      1. Indolent Wretch

        Re: Where's Michael O'Leary when you need him?

        "numerous competition laws that plague the US"

        Hmmm are those are the ones that prevent in some small way the utter ruthless application of capitalism to the total enslavement of the poor?

    2. ratfox

      Re: Where's Michael O'Leary when you need him?

      .com domains are a lot more expensive, because they are prime real estate. Outside UK, half the people don't know what .uk is…

      And that gives an idea how little those new .whatever TLDs are worth: Nobody would even recognize them as URLs.

  3. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. Marcel

    More interested in certificates

    I'd love to see give away free certs later this year. Certificates are a much bigger scam than domains.

  5. Ken Y-N

    Visited the site, and

    "We're sorry. You appear to be in a country where Google Domains is not yet available.

    You may search for domains, but you will not be able to purchase a domain unless you have a U.S. billing address. Learn more"

    I then looked up my own domain, and it recommended ".kitchen", ($30/y) ".maison" ($50/y) and ".glass" ($30/y) along with the usual com/net/org options. No thank you. Although I might cybersquat on

    1. Ole Juul

      Re: Visited the site, and

      I didn't get the billing address notice because I was using a US VPN. Presumably they're talking about a mailing address and not just a US Paypal account. Anyway, I took the time to look at their TOS.


      “Account” means Registrant’s Google account.

      So I guess Google will be incorporating all that lovely whois data into their general user records. I for one, am not going to buy into that. I'll get my domains elsewhere.

      1. Indolent Wretch

        Re: Visited the site, and

        What all the lovely public domain whois data that they've already got?

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Visited the site, and

      Although I might cybersquat on

      Ken Y-N,

      These people are currently testing a rocket propelled space plane missile, and you're proposing to upset them by stopping them going to the pub? Are you mad?

  6. Graham Marsden

    And what's the betting...

    ... this suddenly appears right at the top of the "organic" search results...

  7. Barry Rueger

    Kudos to Google

    Or anyone who can take GoDaddy down a few notches. I don't expect that I need to list all of the ways that GoDaddy fails its customers, or its penchant for using half naked women to flog web hosting.

    Suffice to say that anything that drives GoDaddy into the dust is fine by me.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Kudos to Google

      @Barry Rueger

      Which half?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Kudos to Google @Barry Rueger

      Is that just because you prefer looking at naked men vs women?

  8. Ole Juul

    "Doesn't everyone type just the name of the site into the browser these days?"

    Of course they do, and that's why these newfangled tlds seem useless on web sites. Where domain names matter is in print.

    1. No Quarter

      Re: "Doesn't everyone type just the name of the site into the browser these days?"

      Yes, if they know what they are doing.

    2. JeffyPoooh

      Re: "Doesn't everyone type just the name of the site into the browser these days?"

      Which leads to the next obvious question...

      If you own the Search Engine that most sensible people use to find sites, then of what need is an explicit DNS? And then who controls the TLDs? I'll have to explain...

      I pay Google $12 for the Google-Only URL "whatever.I.want" and I provide them the IP address of my server. When people are looking up "whatever.I.want" on Google, then Google returns links that have the name on display, but the embedded link is actually my numerical IP address (skipping DNS).


      TLDs (e.g. "want") are just between me and Google. We can make up new ones on the fly.

      This process also skips the entire DNS step. Google returns the link with the IP address embedded.

      I think that you can see where this could be headed.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Do Google actually want to be here?

    Domain providers have roughly the same reputation as cell phone or home broadband providers and for roughly the same reason. Getting paid peanuts per client doesn't afford much wiggle room to build a good support operation.

    GoDaddy, 123-reg and so on have years of experience of providing just enough support to stay at the top of the market while keeping their costs low enough to build business empires and keep down the many would-be competitors who somehow manage to be even worse.

    I can see Google making a splash in the market, having a great DNS management toolset and they obviously have unlimited funds, but we've also seen that when something becomes too big a headache Google tend to take a step back because they're too busy printing money with their core business. In this case I see it becoming too big a headache pretty damn quickly and domains are especially tricky because they are both by far the cheapest and by far the most important aspect of a company's internet presence. People pay you peanuts and don't pay attention, but a domain gets lost (whoever's fault it is) then all kinds of problems ensue that Google just don't seem like they're set up or interested in managing.

  10. xperroni
    Paris Hilton

    That edge, looks like they jumped off it

    The one area where GoDaddy is likely to still have an edge is in customer service.

    Hahahahahahahahahahah. [^]

  11. Amorous Cowherder

    Anyone know if Google will take over existing renewals? I have 6 domains and I get tapped for £20/year for each of those, I'd love to pay £10/year to renew mine.

    1. Bob Vistakin

      That's the real issue. No-one is going to use the new extensions - web users won't recognize them as addresses and they are all stupid money anyway. Since all the decent .com domains were bough up 15 years ago, and even the vowel-dropping variants 10 years ago, unless you really want or whatever, the only real business is waiting up to a year for renewal time and seeing how much you'd save transferring over.

      its time for every other registrar on the planet to invest in new underwear.


      Cheaper elsewhere

      You can transfer and renew for under £6 per domain

      $8.99/yr at

      They are not trying to lure you in at a cheap rate. It's been at this price for several years. Service includes free privacy protection, domain locking, centralised contacts (missing with GoDaddy), and bulk editing.

  12. alain williams Silver badge

    I wonder what google can scrape from this ?

    If I visit a web site by some means other than: doing a google search, using google as my ISP, ... it learns nothing about what I am doing (the NSA does not give them a feed!).

    If google tells my machine where a domain's name servers are it will know that I am trying to reach the domain. It will not know why, or how long for - but it will know. This is why they provide a free to use name server at

    Yes: I do realise that if you use your ISP's name servers, your address is fuzzed and the ISP will cache results ... but google will still learn something.

    Should there be legal limits one how data can be shared between the various different business units of large corporations ?

  13. Crazy Operations Guy

    Getting a bit scary

    So they are offering all these things for free / much cheaper than the competition to the point where it is a huge loss for them. But since it is a loss, how long before they start squeezing their customers? Or just up and kill the service with little to no warning.

    Even if its not Google themselves forcing it, how long before some like Carl Icahn comes along and forces their hand?

  14. Michael Wojcik Silver badge


    the gTLDs today listed in Google's domain store are owned by other registries

    Presumably that explains the discrepancies in pricing. .info? $12. .futbol is $13. .florist will set you back $30, but a .guru domain is only $28. Avoid .holdings, which comes at a steep $50 - though even that's reasonable compared to .haus at $110. (Maybe they're hoping Peter Stormare will buy "".) .actor is $40, but let's face it - actors are all going to go for the .me domain ($20) instead.

  15. cipnrkorvo

    Good! GoDaddy was (is) horrible and had (has) horrible customer service. I'd be happy to see them fall!

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like