Google Entering Domain Registration Business

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Google has partnered with domain name registrars GoDaddy and eNom to sell domain names for only $10 a year.

The domains are marketed to users of Google’s “Apps for Your Domain” service which lets users use Google services like Gmail, Calendar and Page Creator on their own domains. “Apps” can be easily associated with existing domain names. Don’t own a domain? Register one right through Google.

Of the more than 250 top-level domain names in existence, Google is only selling names based on .com, .net, .biz, and .info. Both eNom and GoDaddy are among the top ICANN accredited domain registrars, with eNom specializing in wholesale registration. The domains they sell can sometimes go below Google’s $10, but registering a domain through Google will automatically connect it to Google’s “Apps.”

eNom was purchased by Demand Media in May, something that eNom CEO Paul Stahura credits for their deal with Google. “One of the main objectives in the Demand Media-eNom merger was to expand our world class domain services to leading new media companies,” he said in a statement. “This relationship with Google clearly demonstrates that expanded focus.”

Both eNom and GoDaddy have experienced some controversy about their domain registration practices. Verizon accused eNom of typosquatting Verizon-trademarked domain names in 2006, and GoDaddy has been consistently under fire for its practice of serving ads on parked (registered, but unused) domains, something that Google could do as well if they expand their registration business.

Currently, the “Google Apps for Your Domain” service is free. But according to CNET, Google will also be offering additional premium “For Your Domain” services in early 2007.

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