Google Domains: A New $12 Domain Registration Service Google Is Testing

google-domains-600

Google is dipping its toes into the domain registrar business.

The company today announced a beta service called Google Domains that looks very much like the beginnings of a full-fledged domain registrar business.

The service is invite-only at the moment, and interested parties can request an invite via the link above. Just pretend to search for a domain name and you’ll get prompted to ask for an invite.

The Google Domains landing page has links like “Manage my domains” and “Transfer a domain name.” A separate Features page shows what Google is planning for this service:

  • $12 domain registrations
  • no extra cost for private registrations
  • email aliases
  • customizable sub-domains
  • domain management tools (i.e., CNAME records, etc.)

What’s not clear is how many generic top-level domains the service currently supports. The domain name space is expanding dramatically, and on that Features page, Google says it “will be working to provide you with as many options as possible so you can find the most relevant and meaningful names as you get started online.”

In its announcement, Google goes out of its way to emphasize the beta nature of Google Domains:

Google Domains isn’t fully-featured yet, but we’re giving a small group of people the ability to buy and transfer domains through it and send feedback on their experience. (You currently need an invitation code to do so, sorry!) We want input on all the ways we can help make finding, buying, transferring and managing a domain a simple and transparent experience. We also want to make sure our customer support and infrastructure works flawlessly, and that we have the right additional services (like mobile website creation tools and hosting services from a range of providers, as well as domain management support). We’re working with some of the top website building providers like +Shopify, +Squarespace, +Weebly, and +Wix.com to help make that happen.

A domain registration service makes perfect sense for Google, which has been an accredited registrar for many years. It fits right in with Google’s Get Your Business Online efforts and its recent Google My Business portal.

Postscript: Aside from .com, .net, .org, .edu and .biz, a Google spokesperson is unable to confirm for us which gTLDs will be available when Google Domains rolls out more widely.

Postscript: We’ve put a line thru the .edu mention above. Google has told us that gTLD was included by mistake.

Related Topics: Channel: Consumer | Domaining | Features & Analysis | Google | Top News

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About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Marketing Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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  • Pat Grady

    It won’t drive ad revenue for them, so in a year or two, when they shut it down unexpectedly, it’ll suck for those who switched.

  • Luka Malding
  • Someblah

    This is not even new. I registered for Google apps and bought my first domain from Google (which internally bought it from enom) for only 10 dollars about 3 years back. Last year instead of $10, the yearly fee changed to $50. I had no option but to transfer to GoDaddy, who did it for 2 dollars for 1st year and 10$ for the second.

    Learnt my lesson. Google was not the best place to go for domains.

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