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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.

Could Intuit Buy GoDaddy?

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I read an article about possible GoDaddy buyers on Fool.com written by Anders Bylund, “Who’s Hot for GoDaddy?” In the article, Bylund mentions Google, Amazon, Cisco, HP, Oracle, Microsoft, and IBM as potential suitors for the domain registrar who, according to the Wall Street Journal, may be coming up for an auction with a starting bid of $1 Billion.

One company that I thought might make an interesting buyer of GoDaddy, purely based on synergy, is Intuit. Intuit is a publicly traded company with a market cap of nearly $14 Billion. The company offers small business financial management tools and services, such as Quick Books. Intuit primarily targets small and medium-sized businesses, which seems to be the same audience as Godaddy’s domain registrants.

In 2007, Intuit shelled out $170 Million for web development company, Homestead. The company offers web building services primarily for small or medium sized businesses. In a way, this actually competes with GoDaddy’s Website Tonight offering.

I don’t think I own stock in Intuit, and I am not a finance guy, so I have no idea if they could even make this work. It’s just one company I would think could possibly be a suitor for the largest domain registrar.

MichaelJacksonCasino.com Center of $100 Million Godaddy Lawsuit

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MichaelJacksonCasino.comLate last week, TMZ reported that the estate of Michael Jackson was not happy over an online casino being run on MichaelJacksonCasino.com. Apparently someone thinks it’s a good idea to run a casino, sportsbook, and poker room using Michael Jackson’s likeness allegedly without the permission of Michael Jackson’s Estate (this is according to the Estate).

The domain name MichaelJacksonCasino.com has been registered at Godaddy since May of 2005 (on its current registration), and the listed registrant seems to be a company called Corp. Hostarica, with a Miami post office box. Hostarica appears to be an offshore hosting company from Costa Rica, according to its website.

Early this morning, TMZ followed up their original article with another report that Godaddy is being sued for $100,000,000 by the man who claims to own copyrights to some of the photographs that are used on the MichaelJacksonCasino.com website. According to the article, a federal lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles on Monday August 2, and Mann hopes the lawsuit will cause Godaddy to reveal the name of the actual owner of the domain name.

According to results from the Wayback Machine on Archive.org, it looks like there has been a casino on MichaelJacksonCasino.com since 2006. Michael Jackson was still alive at that point, and the welcome message on the site said,

The King of Pop is proud to bring you the most exciting Vegas style online gaming experience on the Net! Along with implementing the most advanced casino software in the industry, Michael Jackson Casino gives you 24-hr. customer support and guarantees you the highest level of security to ensure the privacy and confidentiality of your account. All you have to worry about is winning!”

Additionally, the Wayback Machine shows that the domain name was initially registered as far back as 2002, although the current registration began in 2005. It’s likely that the domain owner dropped this domain name and it expired sometime between 2003 and 2005. Interestingly, in 2003 (which is before the current domain registration), there was a page that said, “Visit our Internet Casinos” with a long list of other casino websites with generic domain names listed.

I don’t know how much exposure Godaddy would have in a case like this, where they acted as the registrar. To me, it looks like Godaddy is not actually hosting the website, as the DNS show nx0.dnscrservices.info and nx1.dnscrservices.info, which are Hostarica’s servers, and they are probably located outside of the US due to US gaming laws.

Thanks to Josh Pelissero for the tip.

Good Time to Use Godaddy for New Domain Registrations

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Godaddy LogoAlthough I have pretty much consolidated my domain portfolio at Moniker, I still use Godaddy from time to time when I buy newly registered domain names. I want to share an example of when and why I believe it’s smart to use Godaddy for new domain registrations.

On occasion, I buy hand registered domain names with the hopes of quickly re-selling them to other companies or domain investors. When domain names are newly registered, they aren’t able to be transferred out of the registrar until 60 days after registration due to ICANN policy.

Godaddy is the largest domain registrar by far with tens of millions of domain registrations under their control. Many businesses use Godaddy, and many domain investors also have accounts at Godaddy. If a company doesn’t have an account at Godaddy, it’s more likely they will have heard of Godaddy than another registrar (except maybe Register.com and Network Solutions).

When you make a sale of a newly registered domain name, it’s much easier to push it to another Godaddy account (which most people have) rather than having to explain that it can’t be transferred out from another registrar. Telling someone that a domain name that they are buying for $2,000 was registered in the last 60 days may be a deal breaker.

Using Godaddy to register new domain names can make a sale go more smoothly, and that’s a reason why I use them.

GoDaddy Price Increase Announced for .Com & .Net Domain Registrations

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Godaddy LogoI just received an email from GoDaddy, the world’s largest domain registrar, and the email announced a price increase for .com and .net domain registrations. As of July 1, 2010, the price of .com domain names will increase 7%, while the price of .net domain names will increase by 10%. The email cited VeriSign’s price increase as the reason.

I am sure that other registrars will send similar emails to their customers, so keep this in mind if you want to renew and/or extend the length of your domain registrations prior to the price increase.

A 7% increase may not seem like a lot of money, but if you have a portfolio of 1,000 names at Godaddy and pay the full price of $10.69, a 7% increase means you will pay $11.44 per name, an increase of $750 for your entire portfolio.

Here’s the email that was just sent by Godaddy:

===

On July 1, 2010, VeriSign ®, the registry for .COM and .NET, will increase prices – .COM will go up 7%, and .NET by 10%.

The increase will be passed to registrars like Go Daddy and then, unfortunately, to consumers like you.

As of July 1, we will be forced to raise registration and renewal* prices for these two popular top-level domains.

If you wish to avoid this price increase, you can renew your domain names by June 30 and add another year to your current expiration dates. You have the option to register or renew for multiple years and lock in long-term savings. Of course, should you have any questions, please give us a call at 1-480-505-8821.

Thanks as always for being a Go Daddy customer.

One Reason to Use Godaddy: Free Hosting

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I primarily use Moniker for my domain registrations, but I have a few that are registered at Godaddy, and I just realized one advantage of using Godaddy. Domain names that are registered at Godaddy are given free hosting from the company, although they have the ugly banner across the top of the website.

For many people, this ugly banner is a deal breaker, but in reality it shouldn’t be one. I registered a few “throw away” domain names last year with the intention of building very small websites for SEO purposes (just as a test). I only got around to building one single page website that had information and several links to another website of mine I wanted to assist with SEO.

Lo and behold, I came back to the site close to a year after launching it, and I noticed that Google has it ranked PR3. I know that people often debate about the value of Google’s PageRank, but the “website” consists of 3 paragraphs, has no photographs, used a free CSS template, and took about 30 minutes to create.

I know PR3 isn’t exactly hugely impactful, but all things considered, it was a pretty simple back link with no downside.

Why You Should Attend a Domain Conference

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Although networking with other domain investors is high up on the list of reasons to attend a domain conference, in my opinion, there is one primary reason. Attending a domain conference gives you the opportunity to meet your sales representatives and managers for the companies with whom you do your domain business.

Whether your business primarily relies on domain investing, parking, or other monetization, you can meet the people who can help you when you are in need.

For my domain registrations, I primarily register my names with Moniker. No matter who is running the conference or where it is, I almost always see my account manager Bari Meyerson at the shows. Monte Cahn is frequently there as are other Moniker representatives, but it’s always good to connect with Bari. I also register some names with Godaddy, and my representative, Brad Larson is frequently in attendance.

The same thing goes for domain parking, although you already know by now that I don’t rely on parking for much revenue (under $1,000 per year). However, just about all of the companies are there and have company representatives available to answer questions and address complaints.

I know that if I ever have a problem, I am comfortable calling or emailing Bari and Brad day or night, and I know my issue will be addressed almost immediately. When you establish a personal relationship with the services companies with whom you do business, you are more easily able to reach your sales managers in times of need.

In addition, if your business relies on advertising from companies who exhibit and attend domain tradeshows, this is an opportunity to tell them about your website. If you own DomainInvesting.com and plan to develop a website on it, your best bet is to connect with the right people at the domain show to let them know about your plans and advertising opportunities.

Likewise, attending an industry tradeshow can also be smart when you are developing other domain names in different verticals. Most tradeshows offer free exhibit hall passes, allowing you to meet with vendors who may want to advertise on your website. This is a topic for another post.

Upcoming domain conferences where most domain companies will be in attendance include:

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