Google Enters Lucrative Domain Name Market

Google announced yesterday that it will enter the domain name marketplace. With the release of over 1400 new top level domains, like .vote, .guru and .coffee, Google will be a competitor with companies also in the domain registration business that they formerly partnered with.

Domain-name registration has increased steadily over the years. According to the website nTLD Stats, 1.3 million new names have been registered already this year. Verisign, a domain research group, reported an increase of 7% from the end of 2012 to end of 2013.

Google Domains will be an invite only and is currently in beta testing mode. “Businesses will be able to search, find, purchase and transfer the best domain for their business — whether it’s .com, .biz, .org, or any of the wide range of new domains that are being released to the Web,” Google said in a blog post about the venture.

The new list of top level domains has caused some controversy. Earlier this week the French government “attacked new domain names – such as .vin and .wine – that it says could undermine international agreements to protect the use of geographical indicators like champagne and region-specific wine names.” 

At an ICANN meeting this week in London, 3,300 representatives met to discuss the consequences of the U.S. turning over control of the internet’s DNS servers. Participants discussed the level of government control over the internet.

Despite the controversies at ICANN, most folks seem to be unaware of the new names flooding the market. A few domain names offer special features that could appeal to internet users and businesses. The new domain .trust, owned by the NCC Group, offers some level of security for customers who visit a .trust website.

Organizations will also have to show that their systems from websites to email servers comply with strict security standards. There will be regular security scanning while ISPs will as a minimum need to embrace anti-phishing standards such as DMARC to have any chance of being admitted to .trust.

Another domain, like .vote, seeks to resolve domain name disputes that arise among political candidates “Recently, we’ve seen high-profile politicians like Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich run up against time-consuming and costly domain name disputes.”