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GoDaddy

GoDaddy is a privately owned, Internet-based company that provides a variety of services including domain name registration, web hosting and e-business software sales. The company, which is headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, was founded by Bob Parsons. Parsons previously owned a financial services software company, which he sold in the mid-1990s upon retirement. He came out of retirement in 1997 to form Jomax Technologies, the predecessor to GoDaddy.

Since it’s inception, GoDaddy has risen to become the largest domain registrar in the world, with tens of million of domains registered to its clients. The company ranks as the world’s largest ICANN-accredited registrar; it’s approximately four times larger than its nearest competition. Recent corporate acquisitions include Outright, Locu, Afternic, and Media Temple.

GoDaddy has redefined Internet hosting services, and it has been the recipient of numerous industry awards and accolades. Among these awards are the 2001 Arizona BBB award for Business Ethics and the 2011 SC Magazine award for Best Security Team. In 2011, it ranked number four in the Phoenix Business Magazine list of “Best Places to Work in the Valley” and it made the 2012 Forbes list of “Best 100 Companies to Work For.”

Known for its sometimes controversial commercials and interesting spokespersons, GoDaddy also sponsors a number of charitable causes in support of domestic violence and child abuse awareness, and sports events, including NASCAR and the Super Bowl. In 2013, the company shifted its advertising strategy to focus more on small to medium sized business owners (SMB). Reflecting this change, its commercials and advertising materials shifted from “sexy” to smart.

Snapchat Acquires S.CO from GoDaddy

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Several days ago, I reported that the S.CO domain name was acquired by MarkMonitor on behalf of a client. Because the Whois registrant information listed MarkMonitor's privacy proxy service (DNStination Inc.) as the registrant, it was unknown who was behind the brand protection company's acquisition.

This morning, a reader named Davis noticed that the S.CO domain name was activated, revealing that Snapchat appears to be the buyer of S.CO. If you visit S.CO right now, you will be redirected to Snapchat's homepage.

I did some Twitter searching, and I do not see any mentions of the S.CO domain name by Snapchat or any other Twitter user. This isn't surprising because the company likely hasn't announced how the domain name will be used. I would not be surprised to see (more…) → Read More


MarkMonitor Client Acquires S.CO

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It looks like the S.CO domain name changed hands at the end of last week or over the weekend. According to Whois records at DomainTools, S.CO is now registered to DNStination Inc., the proxy provider for MarkMonitor, a brand protection and domain registration company. As of right now, S.CO resolves to a generic GoDaddy landing page.

I believe S.CO was sold by GoDaddy / NameFind, although the purchase price for the domain name will not be revealed per GoDaddy's policy. Earlier this year, Jamie Zoch reported that GoDaddy "acquired the premium domains held by the .co registry (likely ALL of the remaining ones they held)" via its NameFind business. There were quite a few single letter .CO domain names in that portfolio, including S.CO.

Back in 2012, S.CO had been used by Startup America, an organization that was co-founded by America Online founder Steve Case. At the time, it was announced that the organization would rebrand its url from StartupAmericaPartnership.org to the shorter S.CO domain name. It looks like the organization → Read More


Afternic Resolves Outage

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For the last couple of weeks, I had difficulty accessing the Afternic website. I posted a note on Twitter asking if others had the same issue, and I was relieved to learn that a few others were also unable to access the website because it seemed like an isolated issue. When I checked Afternic's status on Down For Everyone Or Just Me, I saw that the site was operating. I was also able to access Afternic when I was on my iPhone.

Afternic and GoDaddy engineers were made aware of the issue, and the outage was resolved late last week. I asked what caused the outage, and Bob Mountain, Chief Revenue Officer at Afternic shared the following information with me:

"In late August, we were made aware that a small subset of customers were unable to access Afternic.com. These customers were unable to access the website, but were still able to completely manage their accounts through our customer services team. We have investigated the issue and determined it was a firewall setting. We have fixed the issue. If someone is still experiencing → Read More


GoDaddy Adds Appraisal to Domain Settings Pages

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In May of this year, GoDaddy reintroduced its free domain appraisal tool, and the company began showing domain name values on GoDaddy Auctions' expired auction listings. It looks like GoDaddy is now using its appraisal tool more widely.

I was checking the nameservers on a domain name I have registered at GoDaddy, and I noticed that the registrar is now showing its estimated value on the Domain Settings page within the Domains control panel. You can see an example in this screenshot:



Based on the messaging, it looks like the estimated appraised value is being used as a tool to upsell a product called "Privacy & Business Protection" Package," which is listed at $14.99/year. I am not really clear about what this package offers or what it has to do with the value of the domain name. It appears to offer Whois privacy but I am not clear on what else is included.

From my perspective, suggesting the domain name owner (more…) → Read More


GoDaddy Rebrands X.CO Shortener Landing Page

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In 2010, GoDaddy rolled out its popular X.CO url shortener. With just three letters and a period, X.CO was the shortest url available. During its first few years, I think it became one of the most popular single letter .CO domain names, along with T.CO (used by Twitter) and G.CO (used by Google).

This morning, I noticed that GoDaddy is now forwarding X.CO to Shortener.GoDaddy.com. Users need to sign-in to a GoDaddy account in order to use the shortener:



Once logged in to a GoDaddy account, users can create a shortened link. They have the option to choose a X.CO link or they can choose a go2l.ink link. They can also still choose a customized url if it is available.

Because X.CO is still working as a shortener, people who previously used X.CO for url shortening will find that their links still work and will take visitors to the correct destination. GoDaddy has (more…) → Read More


No Domain Front Running at GoDaddy

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A few days ago, someone wrote an accusatory comment regarding domain name frontrunning at GoDaddy. The comment was made in an article I wrote about GoDaddy's "Steal a Great Domain Name" marketing campaign at baseball games. Here's what the commenter wrote:

"The funniest thing about the article is that the author failed to mention GoDaddy.com actually steals website names. If you don’t believe me, go to their website choose a common last name and add a company name behind it like johnsontravels.com (it has to be an available one of course) Check it about a day later, and it’ll have been bought up by, you guessed it, GoDaddy.com"

This would seem like a sketchy tactic, and in fact, Network Solutions was sued because of front running back in 2008. I was confident GoDaddy does not do any domain name front running, but to be sure, I reached out to the company to ask for an official statement about it. Here's what Rich Merdinger, VP of Domains at GoDaddy, told me about the company's policy:
"GoDaddy has not and does not front run → Read More


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