Google has announced its invite-only Google Domains beta (available under http://domains.google.com). For past few years, Google has been avoiding domain registration and web hosting business. Aparently Google has made a right decision because eventually Google could probably integrate domain registration with its web solution ( constisting of domain registration, hosting, email, analytics, advertisement etc.) for small businesses. According to an estimate, 50-60% small businesses still do not have their own domains - so this is a vast business opportunity. Shopify, Squarespace, Wix and Weebly are among Google Domains official partners - an indication of what Google is after.
According to Google's initial announcement, among key attractions of Google domains are;
- Free private domain registration - allowing domain owner to hide its private information from whois search. No need to pay to third party for private domain registration.
- Guiding customers from shopping mall's underground parking lot to the store
- Google Domain will allow you to setup up to 100 sub-domains for free
- You will not pay for domain forwarding
- No charges for email forwarding to personal Gmail inbox
- Since Shopify, Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace are among official partners, these web solutions might be cheaper and installation and customization would be easier and straight forward.
- Phone support for Google Domain customers
Google Domains might not be good news for established domain registration and web hosting businesses (like GoDaddy, NameCheap, Bluehost, iPage etc). Up until now people have been shopping around custom solutions depending on their budget and requirements, like buying domain from GoDaddy, hosting website at iPage or Bluehost server, setting up Google' webmaster and analytics and last but not least forwarding emails to Gmail inbox - this is hugely complicated stuff for small businesses. Google engineers might be working on complete and comprehensive one window solution, from business domain registration to web hosting combined with Google services (email, analytics, etc). So eventually this might good news for small business owners with basic computer skills. But at the same time, established domain and hosting business might get disrupted.