As part of its efforts to bundle services that small businesses (and individuals) can operate using their own domain (insert Seinfeld joke here), Google is now offering the ability to register a domain. (I’ll let the experts on such tea-leaves esoterica at Search Engine Land figure out why Google is using GoDaddy and eNom to power it.) The bundled services work if you have a domain you’ve already registered and control — this is merely a new feature being offered to those who want to register a new domain.
A reminder: As I blogged when they announced it on October 31, a free domain name registration is being offered by Microsoft to entice people to use their similar bundled services being marketed under the brand Office Live.
Another reminder: What you’ll be paying $10 to Google for, you can purchase from GoDaddy for $9. [Later: Commenter ‘balzack’ (see comments) points out that Google is throwing in the privacy feature GoDaddy charges $9 for, so a better comparison is $9 vs. $18. If that’s a feature you want, the Google option seems a bargain.]
Why would people pay Google $10 for what they can find elsewhere for $9 or free? The words convenience and simplicity spring to mind. Also, having a $10 charge in the context of offering something free may seem fair to those setting up such a bundle of services. Also, it takes a very small-amount of geekiness to register a domain on one service and provide Google the means to utilize it for the free services. (Anyone can do it, but it may take a lay-person $10 worth of hassle to figure it out.)