Google Domains Available For Beta Testing
Between search, email, social networking, online mapping and a host of other services, it seems like Google has had its hand in just about every major aspect of Internet business - except one. Until now, Google has been notably absent from domain hosting, instead instructing people to check out their domain partners such as eNom.com and GoDaddy.com.
Google has now launched an invite-only beta version of "Google Domains" as a test for a possible hosting service. The launch comes only a few weeks after GoDaddy filed for an IPO.
Google Wants to Help Small Businesses
In a short blog post shared on June 23, Google stated that 55 percent of small businesses still have no online presence whatsoever. With this fact in mind, they've decided to expand upon their "Google My Business" tool by entering the domain hosting game. They're now giving a small group of users the chance "kick the tires" on the service by allowing them to purchase domains and provide feedback. You will need an invitation code to try the service out. If you don't have one, you can try taking these steps:
- Go to Google Domains.
- Click on "Manage my domains" in the upper-right corner of the screen
- Sign into your Google Account if you're not already logged in
- Click on "I'd like to request an invitation code"
You'll then be asked for your email address. Google also wants to know if you've purchased a domain in the past, but it's unclear at the moment whether or not your answer to this question will have any impact on whether or not you get a code.
Advantages of Google Domains
While the service is still in its infancy and is subject to change, there are several perks that Google Domains offers as of now. Google promises free private registration, up to 100 customizable sub-domains, a host of domain management tools, 100 email aliases, simple domain forwarding, and phone support - a rarity among Google support options.
Also, Google promises to service the hundreds of new domain name endings that will be showing up over the next few years. This is important, as choosing a good domain ending could become a significant part of successfully establishing a new site in the future. Some of the more sought-after top-level domain endings could also cost quite a bit more than the $10-$12 industry average. Some of the new domain endings include:
The full list of top level domains from the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority can be found here.
Only time will tell if using Google Domains will be more advantageous for your website than any other domain name service. As far as cost goes, it's possible that Google could end up undercutting the competition because of its massive size and revenue, much like GoDaddy did when they entered the market. Either way, it could be beneficial for webmasters to try getting in on the beta version in order to successfully navigate the world of domain hosting when Google Domains becomes available to everyone.