Today, on the company’s Google+ Your Business Page (not to be confused with its Google My Business page), Google announced the roll-out of Google Domains, its own branded and administered domain registration service. Google has long offered a means to register a domain to small businesses or individuals setting up an account on Google Apps for Business. Previously, however, Google handed off the transaction and administration of obtaining a domain to GoDaddy. Today’s announcement makes no mention of GoDaddy.
It’s 2014 and it seems obvious, but across laptops, tablets and mobile devices, a website is one of the first places people go to find information about a business. But amazingly, our research shows that 55% of small businesses still don’t have one. So as we explore ways to help small businesses succeed online …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.”
That Google has now decided to go it alone comes as no surprise. There are two reasons it seems obvious.
- Google and GoDaddy are now direct competitors for those 55% of small businesses that still don’t have a website.
- Google spent $18.7 million applying for over 100 top level domains that can be sold through its registration service.
Here are the features Google says will be a part of its new service:
No additional cost for private registration
When you purchase or transfer a domain name, private registration is almost always an option (some domain endings do not support this feature). If private registration is selected, we cover the cost of keeping your details private (e.g. your name, address and other contact information).
(SmallBusiness.com Note: This is a jab at GoDaddy’s incremental pricing for such features. It also continues an eight-year-old practice.)
Create up to 100 email aliases with your domain, such as help@your_company.com or sales@your_company.com, and have them forwarded to existing email accounts, like firstname.lastname@example.org.
Easy domain forwarding
Point your domain name to an existing domain and website. This feature can be used to drive users to one location. An example would be forwarding www.example.net to www.example.com.
Customize your domain with up to 100 sub-domains, such as blog.example.com and shop.example.com. This will allow you to create unique pages within your website.
Phone and email support (M-F, 9am to 9pm EST).
(SmallBusiness.com Note: A major admission by Google that to break into the domain registration business, they must match the phone-support of Godaddy.)