In the absence of any formal announcements, news of Google being accredited by ICANN as a domain name registrar, spread fast in the media today after it was first reported by Bret Fausett on Lextext — see Google is a Registrar.
The company has since mentioned that "Google became a domain name registrar to learn more about the Internet's domain name system," and that it has no plans to sell any domain names at the moment. However, speculations on what Google could do as an accredited registrar are far and wide. Here are ten, listed in no particular order:
1. "'Organize the World's information' Whois is a huge database, changing rapidly. How good are whois info services today? How good could it be if Google attacked it to "organize it"? What else is it used for? Finding new domain names. How good are "find a new domain name" services today? How good could they be if Google "organized" it?"
(Source: paybacksa at WebmasterWorld)
2. "Google's registrar status, is likely to prompt speculation about its ambitions in web hosting and blogging. Google operates Blogger, the free blog hosting service with a huge user base. Cheap or free domain names could prove useful to Google in the notoriously price-sensitive blog hosting sector, where most bloggers use subdomains (i.e. myblog.bloghost.com) rather than full domain."
3. "Could this be a step to foiling all the linking networks out there? Or digging out private Whois information? Ah who knows. But I suspect this isn't a 'non-event'. Time will tell where Google plans to take things and what they're going to be doing with this."
4. "Google is a pure-play Internet company, and ICANN is an important creature in terms of Internet government, it likely wants to understand it better."
(Source: Elliot Noss in report by CNET Networks)
5. "Some say it's just to stop people from knowing what the next product will be by preventing people from getting domain info but maybe there's more..."
(Source: Damien Mulleys Blog)
6. "Google becoming a registrar doesn't have to mean anything at all, really. There's a trend where big companies become registrars just get more control over their own domains. This let's them have a tighter hold than if they have to rely on a third party to stop hijackings etc. To a big corporation the cost of becoming a registrar is nothing, at least when you compare it to the cost of having your domain hijacked and off-line (or worse, used for phishing etc.) for several days."
(Source: rtz on Slasdot)
7. "One idea is that it has to do with Google's AdSense for Domains business, which aims at the domain name industry. Google's technology "understands the meaning" of domain names, the company says, and then ties it in with search terms that people type in its search engines."
(Source: The Register)
8. "Imagine if they offer a new protocol for registering domains. Similar to ICANN's policy of having valid data in the registration. You want to register a domain, fine. You need to give social for personal accounts (in America) and Fed ID# for corps. Similar idea outside the country with local ID numbers. Now if you want 5000 domains, fine. But your name will be on it. Interlink, it will be noticed.
Now a domain is vetted. This improves their crawler tremendously… Which is their right and one day they will give up the unbiased nature of their site I believe. But if they wanted to keep it unbiased, they could use the excuse that spam has overwhelmed the internet and this is a needed service. Then they can implement a "sign-in" protocol. It works automatically if you register with Google, other registrars can automatically (fee-based or even free) interface with the system. Now they can crawl the web with more power. If your registrar doesn't support the new protocol, you can obtain an ID by signing into their system, receiving a special file that you place into your web's root. Googlebot visits to compare the key, which proves you can access the root of a website and are therefore the owner.
The power this would give their crawlers is immense. And the more time goes on, the more I believe it will become necessary to vet domains. Some system like this will have to be put in place. If we think spam is a problem now, just wait. Spammers will overtake the SEs completely. How can you possible combat automated domain registration, automated sophisticated, interlinking sites with autogenerated content using dictionaries? You can create autogenerated sites far faster than real ones. How long will it take for there to be more autogenerated sites w/ unintelligible content than real ones?
SEs will have to combat this by vetting the sources one way or another. It's either that or they will be totally broken."
(Source: Clark at WebmasterWorld)
9. "They can offer you the ability to host your site AND include advertising without you having to hire a search engine marketing co."
(Source: The Pondering Primate)
10. "If they can give away 1gb of storage for email, why not webspace as well? Free domain name, free storage, automatic adsense, even split adsense revenue with you automatically. Geocities on steroids."
(Source: wruppert at WebmasterWorld)
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