Google to play the domain registration game

Google is quietly testing the domain registration waters with an ‘invite-only beta’ that would allow customers to buy or transfer domains for $12 a year.

The company seems to be on the verge of launching its own domain registration service that would compete with the likes of Go Daddy, Minds + Machines and Uniregistry. However, Google’s service would provide privacy protection, up to 100 email addresses and up to 100 subdomains at no additional cost.

Google has been accredited by ICANN as a certified registrar for over a decade but hasn’t taken advantage of that until now. Along with the standard Top Level Domains (TLDs) such as .com, .net and .eu Google will also be offering some of the newer generic TLDs such as .guru, .photography and others.

Google will also offer features like domain forwarding, no charges for private registration, use of the same DNS servers that Google uses with 10 million resolutions per year for each domain you register with Google Domains and phone and email support. They also provide “a full set of simple-to-use, robust domain management tools.” The tools include things like the ability to add and manage resource records and name servers, Configure TTL and use Google Synthetic Records for integration with Google App Engine, subdomain forwarding and Google Apps setup.

According to Google’s Domain page they will also provide integration with top website builders. “As soon as you purchase or transfer a domain to Google Domains, you can immediately start creating your website with one of our website builders (additional cost associated). Features include secure and reliable hosting, customizable templates and powerful features like drag & drop creation and mobile site-management.”

There isn’t a lot more information about the new service yet. The first beta users are not expected to get access for a couple of weeks and the beta will probably last a couple of months.

Somehow rolling out Google Domains doesn’t seem like a big part of the ‘taking over the world’ strategy that Google appears to embody. Maybe it’s just something that someone noticed while sorting through some old papers. ‘Oh look. We’re a certified domain registrar. Maybe we should do something with that.’

You can find the Google Domains page here.