With little fanfare, Google announced a few days ago that they were rolling out domain name registration service called…Google Domains. Now of course Google has been registering domains for about 10 years through their Google apps, but this announcement is a full-throated effort to move in on GoDaddy & Namecheap, among others.
So the question is…are you going to put your trust in this new service? With the little information on the program so far, I would say no and here’s why.
Unlike other Google offerings that you can move into and out of if something doesn’t work, messing up your domain name registration can ruin some businesses. Let me ask you, have you ever tried to contact Google for anything? Me too. How’d that work out? Probably pretty poorly if you had anything like the experiences I’ve had. There are a lot of things that can (and often do) go wrong with domain registration, but first, let’s get a clear understanding of what registrars actually do.
Here is a pretty good explanation from a regular company trying to run a website, www.bigskyfishing.com. From their site:
First, though, it’s important to understand the role a domain registrar plays. How it works is that you pay for your own domain name (such as bigskyfishing.com). The registrar then “holds” the domain name for you. You then assign what are known as DNS numbers to the particular domain name (these DNS numbers are provided by your web host – a web host is where your actual web site is stored). These DNS numbers point the way to where your actual web site is located – and are used throughout the entire Internet to locate your site. If the DNS numbers are incorrect or something else doesn’t work, your site cannot be found – even by typing in the domain name of your site.
Now that you know your domain name is actually just a placeholder for a series of numbers or “address” on the web, what could possibly go wrong? Well, we deal with hosting companies and registrars on a regular basis and oh let me count the friggin’ ways you can run into trouble:
- Domain squatters
- Unauthorized transfers
- Take-down notices
- Unintended expirations (we get that one all the time)
- Email issues
- Here’s a big one…security-If someone gains access to your Google account, they will have access to your domains.
Again, this isn’t a situation where if Gmail doesn’t work out for your company, you just go back to Outlook, if someone is messing with your site, you are in BIG TROUBLE. Now, I have requested an invitation-only beta (which means anything could happen, and probably will) just because I have to. But if I were you, I would wait until at least this project comes out of beta before I signed up with the mothership.
I could be dead wrong. They could roll out a toll-free number, have hundreds of operators standing by to take your order and help you move all your domains into the loving arms of Google, but history being what it is, when something goes wrong with a Google product, you are usually left to your own devices, which is why I can’t recommend it just yet.