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Google Building a Domain Registration Service

timothy posted about 4 months ago | from the opportunity-costs dept.

Google 69

Graculus (3653645) writes with this excerpt from The Next Web: Google [on Monday] revealed that it is building a domain registration service called Google Domains. The product is still an early work in progress, so it's in invite-only beta for now. Google's small business-facing division decided to build the product because, according to its research, 55 percent of small businesses still don't have a website. Since the domain acts as a website's foundation, Google decided to do more to help companies get started with their online presence. While Google Domains won't include hosting, website building providers Squarespace, Wix, Weebly and Shopify have signed on as partners.

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Google domains? (1, Insightful)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 4 months ago | (#47305105)

Google domains?
Like sideburns on trains.
Instead of smooth
Too much friction remains
Burma Shave

At last, something useful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47305673)

Well, so finally Google will be doing something useful.

Getting popcorn (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47305183)

I'm waiting to see how the Google haters will spin a domain registry as evil.

Re: Getting popcorn (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47305241)

Should be interesting to see how they accuse them of coupling search rank with using their registry.

Re: Getting popcorn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47305271)

Their intention is to turn the internet to an intranet.

All you could ever want under the Google umbrella!

Re: Getting popcorn (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47305409)

Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the Land of Google where the Shadows lie.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Google where the Shadows lie.

Cats and dogs living together!
It's in the Bible, people, look it up!

Re: Getting popcorn (2)

Shakrai (717556) | about 4 months ago | (#47307397)

Facebook is a far bigger offender at this than Google is. Random example: Google doesn't compel you to register for a G+ account to access content flagged as public. Facebook does. Compound this annoyance with the fact that Facebook is synonymous with the internet for the unwashed masses and you have a walled garden that's nearly as obnoxious as AOL was back in the day.

I yelled at the organizers of our local half-marathon for only making updates available via their Facebook page. Special bonus points in their case for already having a webpage, plus the e-mail address of every registered runner, but using neither means of communication to share important updates. Here's a hint to anybody looking to establish a presence on the Internet: We don't all use Facebook.

Re: Getting popcorn (1)

jodido (1052890) | about 4 months ago | (#47307523)

I believe you are mistaken about the need to have a FB acct to view content flagged as public. I'm a photographer and use FB to post photos. I send the link out to a list of non-FB users and they can all see the photos without an FB account.

Re:Getting popcorn (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47305333)

Registrar, mostly, although Google has applied for several TLDs, for which they would then be registrar and registry.

What is there to spin? Google owning everything is as bad as anybody else owning everything. If this were Microsoft, all hell would break lose. Google does all of this (probably an incomplete list): domain registration and hosting, web and phone apps (mail, office, navigation, translation), search (web, Usenet, books, shopping, travel), book library, news aggregation, web browser, phone and nettop OS, media player hard- and software, video hosting, network backbones, internet access provider, phone service, payment system, games, home automation, self-driving cars, social network, and ad broker.

That company couldn't remain "not evil" if it tried.

Re:Getting popcorn (4, Funny)

g0bshiTe (596213) | about 4 months ago | (#47305439)

Look at it from a security standpoint.

Isn't it nice they keep so many details in one company?

Re:Getting popcorn (4, Informative)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 4 months ago | (#47305817)

Google will invariably be better and more privacy and security conscious than 90% of existing registrars, even when you consider their core business model.

I personally would howl about Microsoft because their record with customer data is abyssmal-- for all of their talk about scroogling, they still cooperate with China with Skype and Bing.

Re:Getting popcorn (1)

null etc. (524767) | about 4 months ago | (#47306815)

And yet, Google doesn't even offer a telephone number to call in the event of account-related problems, such as account lockouts, hackers, etc. Google's account "recovery" mechanism amounts to asking you to provide a bunch of details you either don't know or don't remember. If you fail to do that, Google's response is "try again, harder."

Is it worth trusting a company that has that type of customer support strategy? Want to pay Google $10 per month for 1 terabyte of Google Drive storage, and hope you'll never, ever need Google to intervene on your behalf, in response to a problem with your irreplaceable data? Want to take the same gamble with your domain names?

I will NEVER use Google to "manage" my most important assets.

Re:Getting popcorn (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 4 months ago | (#47307465)

If you cant answer the recovery questions, there are two options: Allow a bypass, opening you up to social engineering attacks, or deny access.

Re:Getting popcorn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47310635)

Google is the new Apple, and Apple is the new M$.
MS is now the way of IBM, and I'm not old enough to know who was the big evil before that.

Re:Getting popcorn (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | about 4 months ago | (#47327011)


Anti-Competitive (0, Troll)

mfh (56) | about 4 months ago | (#47305357)

Okay I'll bite. Google have set themselves up as the front door of the internet. They manage a huge chunk of email, and they index the web to provide access to the web on a search basis. Google is therefore in the business of ad sales because businesses want to be visible on the web and if the majority of people are using Google to find things and send email about things, then Google is in the perfect position to earn money while providing a valuable service.

Nothing says evil like monopoly. Google offering domain registry will lead to Google offering hosting. Now then you have the official position of Google on Net Neutrality [] in theory but you have an all encompassing reality where it is very easy for Google to fudge the rankings in favour of those companies who pay them money for hosting and domain registry. Those domains will get priority indexing. That's the opposite of net neutrality. There is no way to prove that Google won't give priority indexing to domains it registers.

This is what we call a conflict of interest, and that is evil unless Google is willing to become completely transparent and verifiable, which will never happen because they are a traded company.

Re:Anti-Competitive (4, Informative)

philip.paradis (2580427) | about 4 months ago | (#47305461)

I'm sincerely apprehensive about potential outcomes associated with Google becoming a domain registrar, but I'm accepting reversal of the mod points I've expended thus far on this story to strenuously object to to the thoughtcrime-based insinuation made in the following excerpt:

There is no way to prove that Google won't give priority indexing to domains it registers.

This is the logical equivalent to a forward-looking conviction on the same premises as Glenn Beck Raped and Murdered a Young Girl in 1990 [] .

Re:Anti-Competitive (1)

mfh (56) | about 4 months ago | (#47309791)

You can't have it both ways, though. You either support the narrow religious dogma based "trust us" approach of the big corporation or you require proof before believing what these fortune 100 companies say.

Science means we reject everything that is not demonstrable.

You either allow men like Neil Degrasse Tyson lead your mindset or you follow the Ballmers et al.

Don't be fooled. Google did a 180Â on their net neutrality stance.

Unless Google is willing to embrace open scrutiny, we have to assume they will prioritize their bottom line and to suggest otherwise is ludicrous. But by all means let's succumb to group-think while we have our net neutrality stripped away one service at a time.

You are a fool if you believe otherwise.

Re:Anti-Competitive (4, Informative)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 4 months ago | (#47305569)

Gmail doesn't manage most of the planet's email by a long shot (Hotmail, ISPs email, Web hosting accounts email, China and other countries who try to avoid USA-based Internet services, etc) and email is compatible everywhere anyway. There's no lock-in.

Google is not the only search engine available, anyone can start an indexation service and anyone can get indexed by everyone. There's no lock-in.

Re:Anti-Competitive (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 4 months ago | (#47306321)

Gmail doesn't manage most of the planet's email by a long shot (Hotmail, ISPs email, Web hosting accounts email, China and other countries who try to avoid USA-based Internet services, etc) and email is compatible everywhere anyway. There's no lock-in.

Actually, they could very well be close.

Benjamin Mako Hill analyzed his email records [] and found that Google handled over half of his personal email. It doesn't matter that he runs his own mail server or anything, Google still acquired half of his personal correspondence - sending OR receiving.

Sure they don't have a monopoly, but if everyone else has similar statistics, it means Google handles roughly 1 in 2 non-spam non-autogenerated, non-mailing list email.

Heck, many legitimate companies I've seen lately (usually Chinese ones) use Gmail addresses. Usually along the lines of or

Re:Anti-Competitive (1)

mfh (56) | about 4 months ago | (#47309847)

You're right. Wherever our information is, Google is there. They have the potential for good or evil, just like any other company. The tendency though in fortune 100s is to rape and pillage the bottom line. That's not just a silly idea. []

Re:Anti-Competitive (1)

Hallow (2706) | about 4 months ago | (#47305795)

Google already offers a variety of different hosting options:

* Google App Engine
* Cloud Compute
* Blogger
* Apps for Business (Sites)

What I find interesting, is if they're a registrar, can becoming a Certificate Authority be too far behind?

Re:Anti-Competitive (4, Informative)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 4 months ago | (#47305833)

Monopoly isnt owning many and varied pieces of a large sector; its being the dominant player in one market. Monopoly abuse is when you leverage that monopoly in one market to boost yourself in another. Not a lawyer, but I believe the degree of barrier to entry also factors in-- its hard to be a monopoly in bike repair because literally anyone can start a bike repair shop.

The only possible sector you could call Google a monopoly is search, and im not clear how they would be using that to boost their business in domain registration or vice versa. Im aware of their business model, but their track record makes me want them as a registrar over the likes of Godaddy or Network Solutions any day.

Re:Anti-Competitive (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | about 4 months ago | (#47306041)

I could see how preferential treatment between the 2 services (search and domain name reregistration) could be abused, but in the past Google hasn't seemed to give preferential treatment so I am not too worried. Also by being a domain registrar they may actually be looking to improve their ranking system to provide better results which may or may not be allowable (I admit it I am not versed in monopoly law any beyond the average slashdotter).

Re:Anti-Competitive (1)

theskipper (461997) | about 4 months ago | (#47306019)

Going way out on the limb here...I wonder if at some point Google will consider breaking itself apart proactively.

Mainly to avoid the age-old cycle of:
1) Start up with big name VC backing
2) Work towards establishing (effective) monopoly in your segment
3) If big/important enough, users start to grumble and press increasingly covers the ramifications of too much influence in segment
4) Congress gets involved at the behest of competitor's lobbyists
5) Judicial branch gets involved
6) Spend lots of money on legal defending your market position, lose focus and become fat and lazy
7) Grow into a lumbering behemoth which loses their market position to more nimble/creative startups

Few have tried jumping from step 3 directly to creating separate companies that would most likely all still be in the growth phase (obviously a big plus for shareholders). Mainly because companies in that position are few and far between. But it's certainly possible for GOOG to become the first trillion dollar mkt cap company if investors think it's worth much more as separate entities than a single unit facing the specter of steps 4-7.

Or this is all meaningless drivel because the business units are too intertwined (core databases, no way to establish Chinese walls, etc.). Just a thought anyway.

Re:Anti-Competitive (1)

mfh (56) | about 4 months ago | (#47309909)

It would be nice if big corporations were self-policing, but it's unlikely they ever will become like that since the quick-buck-patch-job is short term better for investers and investers only tend to care about fast rewards, not long term gains. Google has to consider that stalling their growth will cause a giant swing downward.

Re:Anti-Competitive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47309745)

When I use a Google product over an alternative it is because the Google product is better. You are confusing "making a better product" with "vendor lock-in".

Re:Anti-Competitive (1)

verylargeprime (3668387) | about 4 months ago | (#47312695)

It cannot be understated how serious Google is, internally, about not ruining the Internet. Just mull it over for a bit.

Re:Anti-Competitive (1)

mfh (56) | about 4 months ago | (#47317675)

How unfortunate that 3668387 is not a prime number as it can be calculated by 19. 56 isn't prime either. :D

Re:Getting popcorn (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47305403)

I'm waiting to see how the Google haters will spin a domain registry as evil.

GoDaddy is evil. Will Google turn out to be as evil as they are? I hope not.

Getting popcorn (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47305445)

"I'm waiting to see how the Google haters will spin a domain registry as evil."

Cool, a preemptive ad hominem attack. You are dismissing people who don't agree with your opinion, before their opinions have been stated. It's hate speech regardless of content.

Re:Getting popcorn (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 4 months ago | (#47305531)

I hope they'll take businesses away from GoDaddy.

Re:Getting popcorn (0)

phrostie (121428) | about 4 months ago | (#47305655)

more of a disillusioned former Google supporter. many feel burned and bitter by their big brother crap.

it's not spin, just preparing for the worst, because that is the trend they've been showing us.
absolute control/power corrupts absolutely.

Google grabbing more power?
not surprised. surprised would be if they "did no evil".

Like 100s of others? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47305245)

What the hell for?

Re:Like 100s of others? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47305269)

The world has a desperate need for more...

Re:Like 100s of others? (1)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about 4 months ago | (#47305277)

>> What the hell for?

To consolidate the where there were 100's of thousands of ISPs in the late 1990s, we'll soon be down to just a handful. Think of GoDaddy...times ten.

Re:Like 100s of others? (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 4 months ago | (#47305583)

Think of GoDaddy... times ten.

So... sexy women with twenty boobs?

Re:Like 100s of others? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 4 months ago | (#47305413)

What the hell for?

Well, I can think of the obvious ones: money, access to your personal information (money), sales of advertising (money), making Google the go-to for everything on the interwebs (money) ... and completing their transition to evil megacorp (money).

Why does pretty much any corporation do anything? Money. As much damned money as they can. Look at all this money.

Did we mention the money??

Re:Like 100s of others? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47305507)

"Ah... It's a profit deal" [The Jerk]

Re:Like 100s of others? (2)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 4 months ago | (#47305905)

Because it means they can provide a very simple interface for a fledgeling business to sign up for Google Apps, get a domain, a website, and advertising, without any middle men.

I would bet that they dont care about being a registrar directly, but about simplifying the process to a degree where you can do everything in the Google ecosystem.

Next step (2)

StripedCow (776465) | about 4 months ago | (#47305255)

While Google Domains won't include hosting, website building providers Squarespace, Wix, Weebly and Shopify have signed on as partners.

I can already guess the next step: Google offering hosting and online website building.

Re:Next step (2)

Yoda222 (943886) | about 4 months ago | (#47305319)

Isn't that already possible in Google Apps ?

Re:Next step (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47305407)

While Google Domains won't include hosting, website building providers Squarespace, Wix, Weebly and Shopify have signed on as partners.

I can already guess the next step: Google offering hosting and online website building.

Yeah. Gosh. Can't think of anyone around here with a billion or so users who doesn't already dominate in that shit today. #FacetagramIam #whoshalleyebuynext

The side note they failed to mention in TFS was the fact that most small businesses not have their own domain, likely because they're a cheap ass who only lives on #mycheapass.

Re:Next step (1)

SpzToid (869795) | about 4 months ago | (#47305429)

They're already doing DNS, so at minimum, I'd expect SSL certification services coming next.

Partnered straight into buy outs... (4, Funny)

jzarling (600712) | about 4 months ago | (#47305325)

WIX, and its other "partners" will soon be absorbed - their technical uniqueness will add to Google's own...

Re:Partnered straight into buy outs... (4, Interesting)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 4 months ago | (#47305607)

We are Google. Lower your lawyers and surrender your patents. We will add your workforce and technological knowledge to our own. Your company will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile.

And then shut down (1)

Tenebrousedge (1226584) | about 4 months ago | (#47306289)

I really hope no one ever considers buying Wix. Their sites are slow, entirely js-based, and generally ugly. But, I repeat myself.

Google is unlikely to make more than one foray into that business sector. However, you forget that while they have made a number of acquisitions over the years, they don't have the best track record for continuing to operate either those services or their own.

Oracle seems more the type to get into a market and gobble competitors. Microsoft is the type to "partner" with a company and gut them financially. Google is more interested in tech acquisition, and to that degree they probably prefer it if the company isn't making money -- it's cheaper that way. The purchase of Motorola Mobility is an argument one way or the other, but I'm not sure which.

Re:Partnered straight into buy outs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47307199)

The line must be drawn HERE!

Google Geocities (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47305365)


Ideas (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47305579)

Lookin forward for registering
This would allow for names like : [] , [] or []

New term (4, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 4 months ago | (#47305613)

I've got a new term I'd like to coin, to explain why I wouldn't use this service.
It's called "Abgoogled"
A combination of the words Abandoned and Google.

Google has a tendency to offer services for a while, get distracted and then wander off, leaving its customers in a lurch. This has happened with dozens of google products.

As such, I'll not be using Googles domain registry service because I fear that in a few years I'll get Abgoogled, and have to find a new registrar on short notice.

Abgoogled - Abandon by Google when they stop providing a service you've grown dependent on.

Re:New term (4, Funny)

decsnake (6658) | about 4 months ago | (#47306755)

abgoogled doesn't really roll off the tongue. May I suggest goobandoned instead?

Re:New term (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 4 months ago | (#47307805)

Lets just call them synonyms.

New term (2)

null etc. (524767) | about 4 months ago | (#47306843)

Google hyper-vacillates between creating new garbage that nobody wants, and retiring old garbage that people need. []

Re:New term (1)

iggymanz (596061) | about 4 months ago | (#47307241)

sa you yourself said, google usually lets free services go on for YEARS. so what if they drop it three or five years from now, then you go find someone else. I'm amused at people who are not paying customers who think google owes them something, and they whine when something provided for years gets culled. move on, it was nice while it lasted.

Re:New term (2)

chihowa (366380) | about 4 months ago | (#47308469)

It's great if you're a cheapskate who feels like you've won if you got a $5/yr service free for five years. If your time is worth anything at all to you, or you're trying to establish some sort of reliable process that you don't have to fuck with on short notice, it's not such a great deal.

What good is Google as an industry giant who will be around indefinitely if they have the attention span of a gnat?

Re:New term (1)

iggymanz (596061) | about 4 months ago | (#47328317)

you can pay money to google or their competitors and get service level agreements. if it's important, pony up

Good news for Danica Patrick (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47305639)

With GoDaddy's recent financial troubles, it's not clear how much longer they'll be able to support her contract.

Could be a decent alternative (1)

swb (14022) | about 4 months ago | (#47305649) the usual experience with many registrars where just trying to make a simple change gets you umteen blinky, opted-in signups for perpetual web services.

Anything but GoDaddy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47305783)

as somebody who spends tens of thousands of dolalrs per year with godaddy, please allow me to be the first (?) to say that anything that brings more competition to godaddy can only be a good thing.

Fuck google (1)

future assassin (639396) | about 4 months ago | (#47305909)

Seriously no one company should be allowed to control the internet in so many ways. Mybe its time for the publicly funded system like say a seach engine where its not controlled by any commercial or government entity (sorry I dont know how yet, just an idea)

Godaddy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47305917)

Good, I hope this drives GoDaddy out of business and ruins their impending IPO

Googlenet vs internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47306193)

I'm getting popcorn for this one.

Won't be long till the web fractures just as bad as the internet in general.

Small businesses (1)

Katatsumuri (1137173) | about 4 months ago | (#47306195)

Many small businesses are happy with a Facebook page.

That gives them something to find in Google, to advertise online, to like and share, to post a nice picture and occasional updates, and to enter something in every context that requires an URL. And many additional services can also be set up at third party websites.

Of course there is a drawback of depending on Facebook. But there are benefits in simplicity, reliability and social integration, and they often win for small business.

Similarly, many hobby projects can and do host all their content on free blogging/social/media services. They often provide additional bonuses in addition to free hosting, like software and exposure. And things you give up are not immediately perceived as critical.

The desire to own a domain name or a traditional website is not as popular as it used to be.

Well, at least it'll be better than Go Daddy (1)

Megane (129182) | about 4 months ago | (#47306283)

I'm still not quite sure I see the benefit other than the unwashed masses who use Go Daddy because of the TV ads will have a name they recognized just as much. And it says it won't include "hosting", does that just mean it won't do web site hosting, or does that mean DNS too? TFA mentions something about "100 e-mail addresses", so I guess it's going to at least include DNS.

In the meantime, I'm sticking with my Swiss registrar ( because if anyone can stop people from messing with your domain registration, it's got to be the Swiss.

when is our govt going to do this?! (1)

bzipitidoo (647217) | about 4 months ago | (#47307783)

Buildings and lots all have addresses, assigned by the US Post Office if necessary. Highways and streets all have numbers or names or both.

We all ought to have our own addresses on the Internet. No one thinks anything of having an IP address, and everyone who knows anything about the Internet realizes an address is necessary. Why aren't names accorded the same importance and privilege? We need stable addresses, and with dynamic IP, we don't have that. I don't like such vital connectivity being in the hands of a private company no matter how good they are.

Fundamental shift in web sites (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | about 4 months ago | (#47308653)

This solidifies a fundamental shift in the way we use web sites:

While Google Domains won’t include hosting, website building providers Squarespace, Wix, Weebly and Shopify have signed on as partners.

So we have a domain registrar now, who only lets you use certain predefined hosting services. This is part of a trend:

Computers used to be general purpose machines that could be used to create and run any software. Now, they are increasingly used to run only software sanctioned by the device manufacturer. Similarly, network software used to use standard W3C file transfer protocols, but instead they now integrate with proprietary file transfer web sites. So instead of FTP that works anywhere, software uses DropBox, OneDrive, and Google Drive. Rather than make a web site or customize a MySpace page, you use the predefined Facebook or Google + format.

Google is just taking this idea to the next level.

Free for personal use (1)

RivenAleem (1590553) | about 4 months ago | (#47313869)

I'd love if they provided a service for individuals for personal use. Simple things like online gaming servers where you have a Dynamic IP address. It's annoying to try hosting a Terraria server or System Shock 2 when your have to share your IP address at the beginning of every session. used to offer free addresses for personal use.

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