You can pay $10 to register a domain name on Google, but why?

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.)

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  • Speaking as a lay person who is mostly aware of geek-type issues, GoDaddy is for experts. I use it myself [because it is cheap and flexible] and I have to get ginned up to change anything related to my several domains — because there are so many tools — and they are so confusingly organized, with lots of techie terms — that I would gladly pay the extra $1 for Google to make it easy.

  • You can set up Google to admin your existing domains for free. But you’ll still need to be savvy enough to log into your current registrar (i.e. godaddy) in order to update you cname records to point google. And it looks as though there won’t be any options for subdomains. Additionally, if you don’t update your cname then you can access your “site” at http://www.yourdomainname.com-a.googlepages.com.

  • Question, Since google is now registering domains are they going to allow Adsence members to keep their ads on their parked pages if they register domains with them?

    Maybe that could be the motive behind it?

    I’m just guessing I don’t even know if your not allowed to do that already.

  • balzack

    Dude…
    One thing you didn’t mention in your article is that $10 @ Google will also buy you a privacy as opposed to paying another $9 to goDaddy for the same feature. Now you’re looking at $10 vs. $18?

  • Rex Hammock

    Dude, good point. I’ll update the post.

  • all this whilst maintaining such a friendly exterior