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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.

Go Daddy Looking to Hire: Plans to Grow Workforce by More than 10%

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Godaddy LogoAlready the largest domain registrar, and likely the largest employer in the domain space, Go Daddy has announced a new hiring initiative in which it hopes to hire an additional 350 employees. The company currently has about 3,000 employees operating in various roles within the company.

In recent months, Go Daddy has expanded its call center operations both in Arizona and in Iowa. In addition, the company has opened offices outside of the United States, including an office in Canada, Singapore, and The Netherlands.

One thing I didn’t realize was that “Go Daddy holds a more than 53 percent market-share of the world’s new domain names.” I am sure many domain owners need quite a bit of support to get their websites operational, and I have found the customer service to be exceptional. I do have an Account Representative, but I’ve also called in on the main line a number of times for support.

Go Daddy notoriously treats its employees very well. The annual Christmas party always makes the news because of its  extravagance  and generosity to its employees, no matter what the economic situation is.

Congrats to Bob Parsons and his company. It’s always nice to hear when a company is hiring rather than having layoffs.

Below is today’s press release from the company:

Go Daddy, the world’s top Web hosting provider and domain name registrar, now employs more than 3,000 people and is looking to hire at least 350 more in the weeks ahead.

A majority of Go Daddy’s employees work in the legendary Customer Care centers, all based in the U.S. These are the people standing by the phones to help any of Go Daddy’s nearly nine million customers.

The company has doubled in size in fewer than four years, even as the world economy sputtered.

What is the key to Go Daddy’s fast-paced growth?   “We know people like to use the Internet to communicate, shop, research, play games and more,” said Go Daddy CEO and Founder Bob Parsons. “But when it comes to solving a problem or figuring out how to improve their website … people want to talk to people!”

Go Daddy’s round the clock, personalized brand of customer service is considered industry-best. The company provides extensive training for its recruits and looks to hire people passionate about the Internet.

Not all of Go Daddy’s open positions are in the Customer Care. Go Daddy is hiring in a wide range of disciplines, including Linux and .NET engineers, I-T development, marketing, accounting and facilities.

Recognized as one of the Best Places to Work, Healthiest Employers and top Workplaces for Women, Go Daddy provides a variety of generous employee benefits including three-week paid vacations starting in the first year of employment and 100 percent company-paid medical and dental plans. There are also team building initiatives, financial incentives, bonuses and prizes for top performers that range from cars, parties, all expense-paid vacations and trips inside the Go Daddy “cash machine.”

“It pays to treat your people well,” Parsons said. “A happy employee is a productive employee. I like knowing when a customer calls us for help, they are going to get an enthusiastic person excited to help.”

Parsons founded Go Daddy and became a domain name registrar in 2000 after recognizing a need for better service and lower prices. Parsons’ formula of low-priced, feature-rich products and customer support, along with aggressive marketing, has proven very successful. Currently, Go Daddy holds a more than 53 percent market-share of the world’s new domain names and registers more than one domain name every second of every day.

The Scottsdale, Ariz.-based company has facilities in Phoenix, Tempe, Gilbert, as well as offices in Hiawatha, Iowa; Denver and Washington, D.C.   In recent years, Go Daddy has expanded with a facility in Toronto, Canada and state-of-the-art data centers in The Netherlands and Singapore.

To join the Go Daddy team, apply online at GoDaddy.com/Jobs.

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Please help me raise funds for the  Ronald McDonald House

Did GoDaddy Turn Off Premium Listings During the Super Bowl?

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For domain investors who list their domain names with Go Daddy’s Premium Listing program, the Super Bowl commercial was possibly expected to bring a big bump to sales. With massive amounts of website traffic, premium listings should have received significant exposure during the game.

According to what I heard from a few sources, Go Daddy allegedly turned off the Premium Listings program at some point before or during the Super Bowl, just as the company was to experience a huge spike in traffic to its website. The listings are now showing again, but they were absent during the high traffic time when the Super Bowl ads were shown.

From a business perspective, shutting down the premium listings would have made sense since the company may have wanted visitors to focus  solely on new registrations. As a domain investor, this is a pretty frustrating thing to have happened.

When I learned about the .CO Super Bowl commercial, I recommended that people leverage it to sell their premium domain names at Go Daddy. It’s a shame that domain investors apparently didn’t get the opportunity to sell some of their domain names during the Super Bowl

GoDaddy .CO Girl Revealed in Super Bowl Commercial: I Was Right!

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During the Super Bowl this evening, the long awaited and highly speculated Go Daddy .CO girl was finally revealed. In case you haven’t seen the Super Bowl commercial now exclusively on the Go Daddy website, the .CO Girl is Joan Rivers.

So, how many of you guessed it right?  I did – way back on January 11th on Mike Berkens Blog.

I believe the GoDaddy commercial is expected to air during the first half of the Packers vs. Steelers game. It will be interesting to see how much of a bump in .CO registrations there will be, and also, it will be interesting to see how many domain names were purchased by speculators and how many by SMB who will develop their .CO domain names.

Incidentally, Joan Rivers is using her own neat .CO domain name: Joan.CO.

Go Daddy Releases First 2011 Super Bowl Commercial Clip & Reveals .CO Commercial to Air in First Half

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Godaddy Super Bowl CommercialMore details about Go Daddy’s Super Bowl commercials have been revealed, and the company has released a clip of its approved Super Bowl commercial called “The Contract.” This commercial is expected to air during the second half of the Super Bowl.

The .CO-focused Super Bowl commercial will air during the first half of the game. The ad is expected to feature  a new Go Daddy .CO Girl, although the company has not revealed who the Girl will be.  I have been informed that current Go Daddy Girls, Jillian Michaels and Danica Patrick, will also appear in this commercial.

Go Daddy’s Super Bowl commercials always bring a lot of attention to the domain registrar, and I think it’s a good thing for domain investors.

Investing in .CO Domain Names: My Current Thoughts and Outlook

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.CO Domain NamesI am writing much more about .CO domain names than I ever did about .MOBI or .EU or any other new domain extension. I want to make a few things very clear about my feelings on .CO, and you can take it for what its worth knowing the .CO Registry is an advertiser and that I own less than 10 .CO domain names.

With Google’s consideration that .CO is an international domain extension rather than another ccTLD (despite the fact that it is actually Colombia’s ccTLD), I believe .CO domain names have the ability to perform well as websites in any country. I believe that this will mean businesses will be able to successfully build on .CO domain names.

I can only assume that companies like Go Daddy and the .CO Registry will continue to market .CO domain names, targeting consumers and small businesses alike. To my knowledge, this type of mass awareness campaign has not been done before for other extensions, and I think consumer awareness is key to .CO domain values.

I believe that because Google announced it will index these domain names like other extensions combined with the awareness campaign undertaken by the world’s largest domain registrar, .CO will become a widely used domain  extension… in the future. In addition, with gTLDs expected to be released in the future, consumers will slowly adjust to extensions other than .com. It may not be quick, but I do think it will happen.

Personally, I do not believe .CO domain investments are a wise short term play. If you buy a name to flip it this week, month, or year, you could be out of luck.

My domain investment business model primarily revolves around quickly flipping domain names. It’s a cash flow business for me. As a result, I am not investing a whole lot in .CO domain names right now.  Simply put, I don’t have $xxx,xxx in liquid capital that I would use to invest in .CO domain names (to put on the sideline) for a long term investment of potentially several years. There may end up being some great buys in the big Sedo ,CO auction, but we probably won’t know for some time.

If you do make .CO domain name investments, you should do your due diligence. I don’t see a big aftermarket for them amongst domain investors right now, although that could conceivably change after the Super Bowl. Without that, there is limited liquidity. For instance, if I pay $25,000 for a city .com name, I am generally fairly positive I could sell it at wholesale for $20,000+, and that can’t be said about .CO at the moment.

I think it’s actually a good thing that we aren’t seeing huge sales that would encourage others to spend more than they should. It doesn’t appear that there is a bubble forming, which is a very good thing, because bubbles in the domain space aren’t good for the majority of us. When they burst, values plunge as the liquidity is not there to support the valuation.

Some of the comments I hear is that Go Daddy and the .CO Registry are simply hyping this extension and it’s going to end up costing domain investors a lot of money. The irony of this is that every business needs to do marketing for consumer awareness, and it’s the consumer awareness that will help make .CO domain names valuable. Without it, consumers and businesses wouldn’t buy the names, and without that, domain investors wouldn’t make much money unless they developed them.

The bottom line from my perspective is that .CO domain names may turn out to be a fantastic investment in the future. For now, I think it’s great to see the Registry and its registrar partners focusing on a gigantic awareness campaign. I am happy with my current investments, and if I see good names at good prices, I will invest for the longterm.

Who I Don’t Think the Go Daddy .CO Girl Is

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GoDaddy's .CO GirlEarlier today, Kevin Murphy posted the teaser photo released by Go Daddy with the back side of the new Go Daddy .CO girl who will be revealed in the Super Bowl commercial.

A couple weeks back, Mike Berkens speculated that it could be the very sexy Colombia-native Sofia Vergara, who stars in one of my wife’s favorite shows, Modern Family. This would seem like a good tie in since .CO is the Colombia ccTLD.

I have spent a lot of time reviewing this picture and inspecting similar pictures of Vergara. Anatomically, it looks like it could be her or perhaps even Shakira.

I am going to speculate that it won’t be Vergara or even Shakira, another famous Colombia-bred beauty. In my opinion, Go Daddy and the .CO Registry will not want to emphasize the Colombia connection to .CO and if anything, they may wish to de-emphasize it when selling it to the US public.

Colombia is a beautiful country with very welcoming people. But I don’t think the general US population will necessarily want to buy “Colombia domain names.” Much like the .TV extension likes to emphasize that it’s about “television” rather than Tuvulu, I think Go Daddy will probably de-emphasize the fact that it’s a country code TLD and prefer to emphasize that it’s an alternative to .com.

With a Colombian spokesmodel as the .CO girl, it will only play up its Colombia connection. It’s not a bad thing mind you, but you don’t really see .ME showing off it’s Montenegro roots. You can already see how Sedo is marketing its big .CO auction.

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