Google has launched its own website-naming service, Google Domains to the United States market. The search giant announced on its company blog that Google Domains is no longer an invitation-only service, but will be limited to U.S. residents only.
The domain registration and site building platform was launched in beta last summer with the hope of helping more small businesses create an online presence. The company says it's aimed at small businesses, 55% of which don't own a website, according to Google research.
Since Google Domains is now publicly available, business owners can search, find, purchase from a variety of domains suited to their businesses, including.com, .org and .biz. For each domain acquired, it comes with a braded email ad, website building and management tools and other features.
The service, like those offered by the likes of GoDaddy Group Inc. and Namecheap Inc., provides domain registration services across a number of TLD (top level domain) extensions, from the traditional .com/.net/.org through to an array of more exotic extensions, including .camera, .actor, .coffee and many more.
Where the TLD supports it, Google is providing private registration for free (similar to Whois Guard) to let domain owners to keep their registration details private.
Google Domains provides free hosting through integration with Google Sites and Blogger, and if users wish to develop a site from scratch, website building tools are provided from Google’s own Blogger platform, which joins Wix, Weebly, Shopify and Squarespace. Google Domains now also uses a simplified dashboard, which enables customers to browse templates from site-building partners.
The management tools include the ability to set up a Dynamic DNS, add and handle resource records, the capability to use Google Synthetic Records for integration with Google App Engine, and Google Apps setup. Other features include forwarding email and the ability to customize and forward sub-domains. Besides that, one unique offering for a domain registration service is phone support.
While Google Domains is a relatively solid offering in its beta form, these services are already widely available from other companies too. There is also some appeal in the links to App Engine and Google Apps, but people using either of them will know how to setup domain name records to start with.
Currently as it stands, Google’s offering won’t be market challenging or providing ample revenue growth for the company in the foreseeable future. There has been no information from Google as to when the service will go out of beta, or when it will be made available outside of the United States.