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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.

Importance of an Account Manager at a Domain Registrar

A little over a week ago, I expressed my dismay that Bari Meyerson no longer works as my Account Executive at Moniker. Today, I want to share some reasons why having an Account Executive or Account Representative at a domain registrar is important to me.

Obviously we all put a lot of trust into our domain registrar. Our assets are digital, and there is always a concern they could be stolen and pushed to another account or transferred out all together. Should something like that happen, the process to recover domain names is a bit opaque, and having someone to help with that process is assuring. Knowing I have someone to email who would advocate for me and help me is important and reassuring.

In addition to this worse case scenario, there are every day issues that come up. There have been a number of times where transfers were denied for various reasons, and it’s always helpful to have someone tell me exactly what the problem was. Further, instead of having to submit a ticket to resolve the issue and then submit a ticket to get a refund and re-try the transaction, it has been helpful to have someone willing to make this easier and expedite it.

When I receive renewal notices via email, I am often away from my desk. It’s great to be able to forward the email to my account representative and ask him or her to take care of the renewal for me. It’s one less thing for me to worry about, and it also means that I won’t end up transferring the domain name elsewhere.

Oftentimes, domain registrars are larger companies with various products and services (hosting, web design, marketing…etc). When a problem arises, it’s nice to know you have an ally within the company that will speak with the people who can get things done when they aren’t able to do it themselves. My account representatives know what steps need to be taken to resolve an issue or head off potential trouble, and they are proactive on my behalf.

In various domain related surveys I’ve taken over the years, I’ve been asked to state the importance of having an account representative and/or good customer service compared to other needs like pricing, security, back-end user interface, additional products and service offerings, and other features/aspects. I am pretty sure that customer service was the first or second choice for me – always.

With a dedicated account representative, it’s likely I will do more business with the domain registrar. I am inclined to work with people I like and trust, and if I have an established relationship with an account person, it’s more likely I will register and renew domain names at that registrar.

I understand that it wouldn’t be economically feasible for companies to assign Account Executives to each client, but I can tell you that it does impact my decision when it comes to registering and transferring domain names.

Go Daddy Posts .CO Super Bowl Ad

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Although GoDaddy generally waits until Super Bowl Sunday to post their commercials, the company has decided to post at least one earlier than normal this year. On the Go Daddy home page, there’s a small banner below the fold that says “Be the first to see our new Ad! Click to see why Dot CO domains from Go Daddy have never looked so sexy!

Although embedding is disabled for the video, you can visit Godaddy’s website to see the commercial. As I mentioned, the .CO GoDaddy Girl is Colombian model Natalia Velez, who looks beautiful in the commercial.

As you will see, there’s also a call to action encouraging viewers to see “a lot more now” on the GoDaddy.CO website, although I couldn’t find a link to the video on the .CO website.

Overall, I think it’s a pretty good commercial from Go Daddy and the .CO Registry, since their objective is to send people to the website to learn more about why they think businesses should consider buying and using a .CO domain name.

Super Bowl .CO Go Daddy Girl Revealed

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I just read an article in USA Today discussing Go Daddy’s Super Bowl commercials, and I believe it revealed the name of the new GoDaddy girl that will be starring in the .CO-specific commerical. It’s not Joan Rivers.

Although the article does not mention the model’s name, the caption has revealed what was once a guarded secret. The caption reads, “Danica Patrick, left, and Jillian Michaels paint Colombian model Natalia Velez in a Super Bowl commercial being shot at GoDaddy.com’s offices in Scottsdale, Ariz.”

According to a variety of sources online, Natalia Velez is a professional model from  Medellín, Colombia, and she was born in 1985. You can watch the video embedded above to see more shots of Ms. Velez, and you can watch the video below to learn more about Godaddy, its Super Bowl advertising strategy and see some shots from the commercial filming.

It’s a far cry from last year’s  commercial  with Joan Rivers.

Go Daddy Billboards in Times Square

Go Daddy in Times SquareI noticed a Twitter update by GoDaddy CEO Warren Adelman, and I wanted to share it with you. Go Daddy has several very large billboards in Times Square, which were erected last week (click image to see full size). By the looks of it, the billboards are on 42nd Street near the intersection of 7th Avenue and Broadway, which is certainly a high traffic area.

This billboard campaign is  reminiscent  of the Times Square billboard created by the .CO Registry, although this campaign appears to have a much greater presence.

With two Super Bowl advertisements on tap, this is even more exposure for Godaddy and the domain name industry. If people know it’s easy to buy domain names, they will likely be more inclined to try and buy premium aftermarket domain names, many of which are owned by domain investors, and some of which may be listed for sale on Go Daddy’s website. This  is certainly good for those of us who invest in domain names.

Since I don’t visit Times Square very often, the accompanying photo was not taken by me and I have not seen the billboard in person.

Go Daddy Moving Back Into Private Auction Space with .Pro Auction

I received an email this morning from Go Daddy announcing a private .Pro auction event. Please correct me if I am wrong, but I don’t recall Go Daddy ever hosting a private auction event in the past, and if that’s the case, it’s pretty big news in the domain industry (update: a friend told me they hosted “Signature Auctions” several years ago).

According to the email I received, “Go Daddy Auctions is holding a special event auction for some fantastic .pro domain names. They are one, two and three character names never before released to the public.

Go Daddy is facilitating the auction, but does not support .pro TLD … yet.

The auction will begin on January 10 at 7am PST and run through January 17. Some of the domain names at auction include the following:

  • 1.pro
  • 2.pro
  • b.pro
  • x.pro
  • go.pro
  • pet.pro
  • xxx.pro
  • we.pro
  • buy.pro
  • inc.pro

Auction starting prices range from $50 up to $5,000 for the single letter and number domain names. I don’t know if $5,000 for a single letter/number .pro domain name is a good price, but the market will tell us.

For the most part, I’ve only seen private event registry auctions like this held at auction venues like Sedo, Pool, Snapnames, and NameJet. With new gTLDs around the corner, this could be a foreshadowing of events to come. Perhaps Go Daddy has hopes of securing special event auctions on premium domain names in new TLDs. It might be a wise idea to hold a private .CO auction in conjunction with the .CO Super Bowl commercial.

Personally, I don’t see a whole lot of investment value with .Pro domain names, but this particular auction will certainly be worth watching considering the audience may include far more end user buyers than usual.

Why I Am Not Transferring Domain Names from Go Daddy

I am entirely opposed to SOPA, and I’ve made my opinion known to people who are able to do something about it. I know that Go Daddy was originally in favor of SOPA, and then didn’t support SOPA, and the company is now supposedly firmly opposed to SOPA.

A number of  influential  people and companies have called for a boycott of GoDaddy. They feel that they should not support a company that supports a bill that can harm the Internet. Several companies have been giving special offers to transfer domain names today (like Namecheap).

That being said, I am a client of Godaddy’s (among many other registrars), and I am not planning to move my 100+/- domain names to another registrar.

From a financial perspective, I can think of many other things to do with $1,000 than spend that money transferring domain names. For $1,000, I can have a site redesigned, pay for an advertising campaign for some of my websites, can buy a nice domain name in the aftermarket, make a donation to a politician while letting him or her know I oppose SOPA, or just spend it on an expensive dinner and bottles of vintage wine. Whichever I choose, it’s better than wasting it on unnecessary domain transfers.

I also don’t believe that transferring domain names away from GoDaddy will do anything at this point. They’ve heard their customers and Internet community loud and clear. Whether they really are opposed to SOPA or are just saying they are opposed to SOPA because of the outcry is really a moot point for me.

I don’t feel badly at all for Godaddy. They made a terrible decision in my opinion and are doing what they can to rectify that decision. My account representative at Godaddy has always been helpful to me, and I don’t think spending my money on domain transfers from Godaddy is going to stop SOPA or make it more difficult for SOPA to pass.

I think Godaddy would be well served to start campaigning to their elected officials on why they now think SOPA is bad. That’s the least they can and should do to show that they now mean what they said.

I might not have the need to pinch pennies, but I am not going to wastefully spend my hard earned money to prove a point that has already been clearly proven.

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