If you’re anywhere near the domain industry, you tend to synch your key announcements with ICANN meetings. And with the one currently happening in London having already beaten all attendance records, Google couldn’t have timed their entry into the registrar market any better.
Running under the tagline “here’s how easy it is to get online” Google has opened up a beta registrar page. Currently, an invitation is required to register domains with Google, but “Google Domains” is expected to become a mainline product in the near future.
Aimed squarely at the consumer/SME end of the registrar market, Google Domains looks like it will provide most domain management services free of charge. No pricing has been announced yet, but the demo does show a 12$ price for a 1-year registration. There’s no indication on exactly what TLDs will be on offered, but the Beta mentions new gTLDs.
Each domain registration will come with up to 100 email aliases, up to 100 subdomains, free WHOIS privacy (registrant details are masked in the WHOIS, a service most registrars currently charge for), web forwarding and support.
Having Google enter your market tends to give existing actors cause for concern. The world’s biggest registrar, GoDaddy, recently announced an IPO and there are already questions as to the possible impact on this.
The markets already seemed to have an answer. Shares of Web.com, parent company of major registrars Network Solutions and Register.com ended almost 20% down yesterday.