GoDaddy is the largest domain name registrar in the world with many millions of domain names registered there. Many of the domain names registered by customers are not being used and have a default landing page shown to visitors. This landing page has changed over the years, and I recently noticed a change with the design. As you can see below, GoDaddy is more prominently promoting its Domain Buy Service to help prospective buyers acquire domain names that use the default lander.
Have a look at this example landing page for Grandstand.com, which has had a default GoDaddy landing page for a while (The registrant won a UDRP that was filed against Grandstand.com with a RDNH finding). You can see the large blue box with a “Get This Domain” call to action button:
Compare that to a previous iteration of the landing page from earlier this year (courtesy of a DomainTools screenshot). You will note that there is still a link to the Domain Buy Service, but it is not as prevalent (the UDRP article has a screenshot of another GoDaddy landing page).
If someone clicks on the “Get This Domain” button, they will be taken to the Domain Buy Service landing page, which explains the offering:
“One of our personal domain brokers will contact the current owner to see if he or she is willing to sell the domain name you want. We’ll do all we can to get the name at the lowest possible price for you. The Domain Buy Service fees do not include the cost of the domain name.”
You will note that the broker is working on behalf of the prospective buyer to get the best possible price. Domain registrants should understand that the broker is engaged by the prospective buyer and does not necessarily represent the interests of the registrant.
The prospective buyer will pay $69.95 + a sales commission based on the sale price. The $69.95 Domain Buy Service fee is non-refundable, and the commission fee is only charged if a sale is completed. I am not sure if the commission fee is charged to the buyer on top of the sale price or if that comes out of the total negotiated price.
I would not change anything with my portfolio as a result of this landing page change because my PPC landing pages are already somewhat sales focused with a “for sale” note at the top. I can also interact directly with prospective buyers who fill out the inquiry form rather than negotiate with a third party broker.
It’s interesting that GoDaddy is more heavily promoting domain name sales on its default landing page rather than web design, hosting, or other related services. GoDaddy Aftermarket VP and GM Paul Nicks confirmed that this is a new design / test. It would be great if GoDaddy shares the results, although I won’t hold my breath. If it sticks around, we will know that it provided a lift.