As you've probably heard by now, the Internet is on the brink of a radical expansion.
Common website suffixes such as .com and .co.uk will soon be joined by hundreds of new top-level domain names: .uk, .report, .pictures, and .vision, to name a few. Each additional domain is uncharted territory—and now Google has announced that it wants to be a leader in supplying domain names.
Google announced that it had begun testing a new service, "Google Domains" That will let people register for domains. Users with access to the (invite-only) beta will be able to buy or transfer standard domains like .com for $12 a year. Private registration, which protects personal details like name, address, and other contact information, will not carry an additional charge, and each domain will come with up to 100 custom email aliases (i.e. you@your_company.com).
When it comes to untested domains like .report, the details on Google's service are fuzzier. Joe Osborne, a spokesman for Google, said that pricing has yet to be determined for new top-level domains.
That is at least in part because some of the new domains will be owned by Google while others will be licensed out by other registrars. Google has not made public a list of the new domain names it will offer.
The push into domain registration is being framed by Google as part of a larger effort to help small businesses beef up their online operations and navigate the Web.
Two weeks ago, the company launched Google My Business, a collection of free resources geared to small-business owners. PayPal also rolled out a similar toolkit for small-business owners, PassPort, earlier this month.
Google's domain rates are roughly compatible with those of other major domain registrars. That said, features like private registration and domain-specific email that are built into Google Domains can quickly add up in surcharges on other sites.
Google is probably also banking on its brand recognition and reliability to give it an edge on competitors in the same market place.
From the Google website:
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
While we’re still building out all of the features, our goal is to make Google Domains more widely available soon. You can check out the first cut of what we’re working on at www.google.com/domains.