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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 Hosting Update

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It’s been just over two months since I switched to GoDaddy hosting for my blog, and I want to give you an update on how things have been going so far.

When I first announced the switch, a few people weren’t keen on the idea in public and private. Luckily for me, I don’t recall any downtime or outages whatsoever in these two months. The site has been humming along quite well, and I am very happy that I stopped paying $60/month and am now paying under $10/month.

Things have been going so well that I just moved DogWalker.com, another WordPress-based website, to GoDaddy hosting. I wrote about the hosting change on the DogWalker.com blog, and the reception on Facebook, Twitter, and via email has been positive.

The unique situation with DogWalker.com is that there are between 400-500 paying advertisers, and I couldn’t afford to have any downtime and risk getting angry emails. Luckily for me, the switch went off with out much of a hitch. I appreciate the support from GoDaddy’s tech team, as well as Todd Cluff’s management of the transition.

I am considering dropping the VPS all together and moving all of my sites to GoDaddy.

Just as a FYI, I have not been compensated in any way for this nor are there any affiliate links. It is likely that I received good treatment because I have very active websites with tens of thousands of visitors, and I have been a customer for 10 years.

Official Statement from Go Daddy Regarding Front Running Allegation

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Some serious charges have been lodged against Go Daddy regarding alleged domain name frontrunning, and because the person who wrote the article didn’t mention the domain name in question, it’s impossible to see what really happened. Mike Berkens also posted an article following up on a Bill Hartzer article.

I reached out to GoDaddy to see if the company could respond to the allegation, and I received a statement from Rich Merdinger, Vice President of Product Development – Domains at the company:

“Go Daddy does not and never has participated in domain name “front-running” – the act of registering domain names after a registration search is done.”

There are a few things that could have caused the person who made the allegation to think something was amiss at GoDaddy. Perhaps he entered the wrong domain name (ie a typo) which was available, and upon trying to register the actual name, it was unavailable. Another reason could have been that someone else registered the same domain name after he showed it was available. There are other possibilities as well.

One thing is pretty clear though. An allegation without mentioning the domain name is not fair to Go Daddy, and it’s probably damaging as well. In 2008, Network Solutions was heavily criticized  when front running was revealed, and the company ceased the practice shortly thereafter. A class action lawsuit was reportedly filed in response.

I hope the person who made the accusation provides more information so that we can all see for ourselves what happened.

Video: GoDaddy CEO on Fox Business

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As I mentioned yesterday, Go Daddy CEO Warren Adelman made an appearance on  Your World With Neil Cavuto  on Fox Business to discuss his outlook for venture capital funding for new business and where VC money is being invested right now.

The video is embedded above.

Go Daddy CEO to Appear on Fox Business

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According to a tweet from Go Daddy Public Relations Specialist Stephanie Bracken, Go Daddy CEO Warren Adelman will be making an appearance on Your World With Neil Cavuto on Fox Business tonight at 8pm EDT. The Huffington Post has reported that this is the #1 show in its time slot, and it averaged well over 1 million viewers in May.

Mr. Adelman will be discussing small business and venture capitalist spending, and I would expect that he will discuss domain names and the domain aftermarket during his appearance. One reason the domain aftermarket has been strong is due to VC-funded entities acquiring good domain names for their startups.

I think special appearances like this are good for the domain industry because it’s insolar and channels like Fox Business have a pretty large following.

The video has been posted.

Video: New GoDaddy Ad Released

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A few weeks ago, GoDaddy announced that the company had engaged Deutsch, one of the largest advertising agencies in the world, to create a new ad campaign for the company known for its provocative marketing. At the time of the announcement, CMO Barb Rechterman said, “We are teaming up with Deutsch because we think the team there ‘gets us’ and can help take Go Daddy to the next level.”

This afternoon, the first advertisement dubbed “Otter” was posted, and I have embedded it above. As you can see, it’s much different from the former “GoDaddy Girls” campaigns the company used during big events such as the Super Bowl, NASCAR races, and other events where the company advertised.

Yesterday evening, the New York Times  published  an article about the new campaign, “In New Ad, GoDaddy Upgrades Its Image.” When I first learned about the campaign, I assumed the GoDaddy Girls would still be included in the company’s marketing efforts, but that may not be so according to CEO Warren Adelman in the NYT article:

The commercial “captures what we wanted to do really well,” said Warren Adelman, the new chief executive at GoDaddy, whose decision it was to end the era of what the founder, Bob Parsons, called “GoDaddy-esque” ads.

“We wanted to acknowledge our past,” Mr. Adelman said, and “not walk away from” it, but also begin to talk more about “products and services” and “who we are.”

Check out the first advertisement when you have a chance, and let me know what you think of it.

Guest Post: The “Independent Web”: The only place where YOU control your online presence

Godaddy Super Bowl CommercialThis is a guest post from GoDaddy.com. The company has generously supported the Ronald McDonald House. I am hoping to raise $10,000 for RMH in 2012, and I invite you to contribute to help. It’s a great organization!

In 1991, when the Web went public, it was remarkable because it was the first time in the history of the Earth that you could create a presence anyone else in the world could find, see and interact with instantly.   Best of all, you had 100 percent control over the content of the site and therefore over the experience of each visitor, as well as the data from it. Now, two decades later, a massive sea change has seen the addition of pages on Facebook ®, Twitter ®, Google+ ® and other similar sites. The problem is, unlike traditional websites, some of the content and all of the data created by interactions on those sites are not yours to use and to control . . . it is theirs.

To be clear, a presence, for instance, on  Facebook can be a good thing; it is the “water cooler” where 900 million people  gather (that’s more than 12 percent of the planet’s population). Even Go Daddy, a company founded on the concept that every individual can have and control his or her own  Web presence, has a Facebook page. What is important to realize is the difference between building your presence on what has been dubbed the Dependent Web  versus the Independent Web: both have value, but you only fully control one.

Apparently it was John Battelle, co-founder of Wired Magazine  and news website The Industry Standard, who coined the terms in his 21 October 2010 blog entry on BattelleMedia.com. He explained that in the Dependent Web, host companies deliver content, advertising and services based on what or who it thinks the visitor is. Therefore, the content presented is actually dependent  upon past and present actions such as webpages visited and mouse-clicks. In contrast, in the Independent Web (with some exceptions) host companies do not change content according to their perception of visitors’ wants/needs.

Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress, compared the two in a recent GigaOM blog  by making the analogy that now “. . . more people want to own their own space on the Web – they want to own a house instead of rent an apartment.” In a posting early this year Battelle added, “Companies that have planted their presence too deeply into the soils of Facebook are going to realize they need to control their own destiny and move their focus and their core presence back into the independent waters of the open Internet.”

To demonstrate the difference, (and while preparing this blog post) a visit to GoDaddy.com  presented all the products and services the company offers, as well as links to various company news, facts and commercials. In contrast, on the Facebook.com/GoDaddy  page mentions of the same products and services were presented (albeit in different format). In place of the supplemental information,   “another chance at love,” taking away from the overall company message. In addition there was a column listing text posts from Facebook friends around the country. Is this good or bad? Well, neither; they are simply different experiences companies can offer by building Dependent Web-based pages or not. So, at the surface, this is fine; below that, maybe not.

Battelle went further saying “I’m a fan of integrating Facebook into your brand efforts . . . but the point is simple: If you are a brand, publisher or independent voice, don’t put your taproot  into the soils of Facebook. Plant it in the Independent Web.” Therefore, if your promotions and the results of SEO drive visitors to www.Facebook.com/YourCompany; that would mean that ALL of the data is Facebook’s to exploit. Instead, if you drive people to www.YourCompany.com/Facebook, you at least “own”  the data that led them to your Facebook account.

So consider that, when registering an Internet domain name  and signing up for a hosting account, you end up with a blank canvas on a wall anyone in the world can see. What you put on that canvas is entirely up to you and what data you gain is yours. That’s the real value of the Independent Web and why Go Daddy has supported it from the start. Oh, and be sure to remember that if you build a website  – but choose to use a free hosting service or  free email address  – you are giving the host company free reign to place their ads on your site and subsequently harvest your data from it.   And remember, obtaining a good domain and driving lots of the world’s population to your site on the Independent Web means you have created a real value in the virtual world.

So what does this  mean to you? If at some point you find you no longer need it, check out how Elliot Silver and his blog (ElliotsBlog.com) followers have turned domain names into re-sellable properties worth from hundreds to millions of dollars; just try to do that with a Facebook page!

* Third-party trademarks are the property of their respective owners. All rights reserved.

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