Scottsdale’s GoDaddy confident as Google enters domain market
Google Inc. lifted its invite-only access this week to the software giant’s new domain-name service, but what does that mean for Arizona-based GoDaddy?
In June, Google began testing Google Domains, a domain registration service, to a limited audience. The company on Tuesday opened up the service to its U.S. audience, entering into the market dominated by GoDaddy.
Scottsdale-based GoDaddy has been the single-largest registrar of domain names since 2005.
GoDaddy officials said they’ve kept an eye on Google, but they are confident that their customer support and deep experience will continue to offer the best service.
One expert agreed that GoDaddy still holds an advantage.
Michael Goul, a professor and chairman of the Information Systems Department at the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, said GoDaddy has a solid footing in the market.
Goul said Google has yet to announce if it will act as a full-service system like GoDaddy – one of the company’s strongest attributes. However, he said it’s likely Google will use its brainpower to integrate this service with their other products, like Google ad placement.
“Google is a mighty competitor, but they are involved in many other businesses,” Goul said. “So I’d be interested to see how invested they are.”
Mike McLaughlin, senior vice president and general manager at GoDaddy, said in a prepared statement that Google has sold domain names for Google Apps and other products through pre-existing registrars, such as GoDaddy, for years, and this launch is just the next step.
Company spokesman Nick Fuller said GoDaddy has expected Google to enter the market competition since it began testing in June.
While GoDaddy officials said Google would try promoting its service to small-business owners, that’s an area the Scottsdale company has focused on for years.
Fuller said GoDaddy has about 3,000 customer-care representatives and 24-hour support that small businesses need to succeed.
One example of GoDaddy’s dominance: The company owns more than 37.8 million domain names with its mail server, according to DomainTools, a searchable database of domain-name registration and hosting data.
In comparison, the next most-popular network owner, Amazon.com Inc., has more than 8.6 million domains associated with its mail server.
Goul said GoDaddy is smart to keep an eye on the competition, but the Arizona company ultimately has a lot of power behind its huge market share.
“We’re going to see changes from competitors now that Google is in the game,” Goul said. “It’s like having Walmart move into a neighborhood dominated by mom-and-pop shops. There’s a lot of potential to hold onto (GoDaddy’s) customers, but Google is a formidable competitor.”
GoDaddy filed an Initial Public Offering with the Securities and Exchange Commission in June 2014. GoDaddy noted in the filing that it faces increased competition from Amazon and Microsoft – in addition to Google – as they also provide domain name registration.
The public offering has been valued at $4.5 billion, according to the New York Post. The Post also reported that through the first nine months of 2014, the adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose from $155 million to $215 million.
The company also mentioned improvements in year-over-year revenue in its filing, but did not specify any values.