If Go Daddy Is Bought…

Godaddy LogoThere have been reports that a team of private equity companies (led by Henry Kravis’ KKR) are in talks to acquire the world’s largest domain registrar, Go Daddy. I’ve been a customer of Go Daddy for about 8 years, and there are some things that I would hate to see changed should a deal be consummated.

Competitive Pricing – Go Daddy has always offered some of the most competitive pricing when it comes to domain registrations. If pricing goes up at GoDaddy, I wouldn’t be surprised to see other companies follow suit. I hope GoDaddy continues to be a price leader.

Executive Accounts – Hands down, GoDaddy has one of the best VIP customer support centers in the business. Their executive accounts group helps clients with a variety of issues, and I know that when I need something from GoDaddy, I can contact my account rep (Brad Larson) and he will get it done.

American Call Centers – With all due respect to my friends in other countries, I like being able to call GoDaddy at off-hours and speak with someone in an English speaking call center. I am sure that you would prefer to speak with someone who speaks the same language as you, and I can almost guarantee that I will speak with a knowledgeable person when I call Godaddy, no matter what time it is.

Racy Advertising – For better or worse, the commercials are one of the reasons Go Daddy has become a household name for many and given an introduction to domain name purchasing. Some think they’re distasteful and others think they’re edgy. Whatever your position on them is, they get people talking and when someone needs a domain name, they are likely to visit GoDaddy.

Event Sponsorships – Similar to the comment above, GoDaddy sponsors things like a NASCAR team to a poker tournament. These events bring domain names to the forefront.

Bob Parsons – He may be a polarizing figure, especially in light of his elephant hunting trip, but Parsons is the heart and soul of the company. He throws big parties every year and does things throughout the year to keep his employees happy. Parsons supports many non-profit organizations and he’s the number 1 vocal promoter of Go Daddy.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. Are you sure you didn’t get payola for this?

    Focus on what should be changed instead.

    Get rid of Pricing via Coupons
    Get Knowledgeable Support
    Quit with the Racy Advertising
    Send Bob Parsons to a small island in the Pacific

  2. This seems like the same story from last year.

    GoDaddy is my preferred registrar now mainly due to the pricing, and VIP support.

    If any of that changes I would seriously consider finding another option.

    $1-$2B seems far too low for the % of market share GoDaddy has.


  3. @ Brad

    I think it’s similar, but I would imagine they’re much further down the road than when this news previously came out. Last I heard, the company let it be known they would be an acquisition target and then took itself off the market. I guess things are heating up again. WSJ is reporting that “for between $2 billion and $2.5 billion”

  4. $2B seems like a pretty cheap price.

    Demand Media has a market cap of 1.12B, and is there really any comparison?

    On paper GD might not be turning a huge profit, but their massive market share and revenue are worth a lot in itself.

    At that price GD would probably be better just going public.


  5. People easily forget what the internet was like before GoDaddy.com… If it wasn’t for GoDaddy and their racy advertising, pricing, customer service and Bob Parsons forward thinking then the entire industry would be years behind where it is now.

    I hope if they are bought that they keep targeting mom and pops but keep their “underground” domainer focus. I could see a new owner trying to get rid of the special discounts and specialized support/sales division targeted to us domainers.

    If I was Bob, it would be hard to be convinced to sell a company that has continued to grow every year and whose profits have continued to grow. His last company did good when he sold it but I know the employees were happier when he was the boss.

    If they do sell, I hope there is a larger focus on the reseller/aftermarket division. I would love to sell ALL of GoDaddy’s products in an interface I can control and I’m sure other companies or even domainers would love to be able to automate their domain purchases, site creation, etc. that just isn’t possible with their current interfaces.

  6. $2B doesn’t seem that unreasonable to me. Register.com was taken out for $200M in Aug 2005. Granted, GoDaddy is much, much larger than Register (Godaddy: 48mm domains under management now. Register: 3mm as of 12/31/2004) but I would imagine profitability/margins were higher @ Register.com.

  7. Like you Elliot, I’d hate to see them change anything. If they do I might just leave.

    They have a good biz right now, let’s hope the new company, if they buy, just does not run it into the ground like many companies do after a purchase like this.

  8. Great Piece with Excellent Points.
    $2 Billion is too cheap in the current IPO Internet Tech Market
    They shouldn’t sell for less than $5 Billion or just go public similar to LinkedIn and get a higher valuation
    That or just keep growing the Business and collect all the excess cash it generates every month

  9. Keep in mind that G-Daddy makes much higher profit margins on Web Hosting and related products/services/software then retailing domains… they have tons of hosting customers … Remember, the foundation of the company wa builts as a software company first before Bobby P propelled it to become the domain king.

    and all that up-selling WHOA !

    The manager of the executive account/VIP department Scott very recently left the company … he was my primary rep before he moved into the department manager seat… sorry to see him leave as he was a knowledgeable and helpful domain pro.

    GooooooooDaaaddddy !

  10. I am very surprised at how many people here are promoting GoDaddy. I avoid them when I can, I must say I do like their phone support..but that’s it.

    I LOVE NAMECHEAP…pricing is always incredible, free whois on every domain and top-not customer support. I don’t even consider where I would go to hand-reg a domain, it would be Namecheap in a second, GoDaddy would be a second…but a very very very very far second.

    The one thing I do like about GoDaddy is their auctions..but to hand-reg, NameCheap all the way.

  11. @Jason

    Does NameCheap ever promote the Domain Industry?

    That why it is called NameCheapo

    Godaddy treats her employees well and most of the jobs are located in USA.

  12. #2 Above… Executive Accounts is the best customer service experience on the planet! I for one keep spending tons of money since I know my rep will take good care of me. That’s the number one reason that I Keep on Truckin’ with GD!

  13. I like godaddy because of expired domain “buy now” auction, because I sometimes buy expired domains with PR2-4 with good backlinks and age. Of course you can get better domains at NJ or SN but not for that low prices.

    If owner will be changed nothing going to change for me. I don’t care about nascar and superbowl as I am not from US and haven’t seen those things in real life. And godaddy is not just about US market

  14. One thing i don’t like about goDaddy is Bobby puts ads on my domains landing page and keep that PPC revenue himself 😉

  15. I always thought they should have named themselves DaddysDomain and that way they would have purchased
    their domain name from me!! Oh well… I for the most part like them and have used them for a dozen years, but I would care less if BP left along with all of the up-selling. Agreed though he as done tons for the industry.

  16. Did Godaddy ever consider offering stakes to its customers? It’s loyal customers would happily buy shares!

  17. I have purchased roughly 4000 domains via Godaddy. I probably have more experience with them than anybody and at the end of the day the are AVERAGE!!!! In comparison to most domain registrars better, in comparison to how I run my business AVERAGE!!! I would not say Godaddy is anything special just some guy who is not as “special” as most think. And while we are on commercials ALL the women they use are just a click above noticeable. NONE of the Godaddy girls are true bombshells…my local strip clubs have girls that would sink ANYTHING Boob Pearsons has come up with…

  18. I don’t deal with them a whole lot- I think I have less than 200 names there at present.

    Their low level support is fantastic. Call any hour of any day and get someone in the United States.

    It’s gotten to the point that if I sign up for a new service (cel phone, a credit line, etc), the first thing I ask for is their support number. If I get India, I find another service. I don’t trust my personal account information- that may contain lines of credit worth tens of thousands of dollars, domain names worth the same- to someone making in the 3rd World making $2.00 an hour… and there have been some pretty significant ‘communication issues’, to say the least. ‘

    If GD goes to private equity, it will follow the same path of all other businesses that were sold by the founder to the beancounters. Since customer goodwill cannot be quantified on a balance sheet, the little things a business does to maintain it are slashed or eliminated.

    As I type this, my wife is in the other room, sewing on her seventy two year old, circa 1939, Singer 201-2 Sewing Machine. Every time I look at that thing- the insane “built to last forever” quality, the workmanship, the attention to detail- I’m reminded how far we’ve strayed from that bygone era when a business defined itself based on how much more it could offer than its competitor. Today, it’s all about shaving and chiseling around the edges for the widest margin.

    Sad. GD will go down this path, if Parsons sells and they go private equity. Mark my words as they’re said here and now. Private Equity marks the end of Godaddy just like Paul Bilzerian marked the end of the Singer Sewing Machine company.

  19. @Anon

    Nice heart & brain felt post.

    If/when the G-Daddy buyout transaction is consumated, it should be interesting to see the anawers to the following questions:

    1) Will Bobby P still retain a good chunk of equity or be the thus far undisclosed 3rd investor…thereby waiting for the cash register to ring again when GO is IPO’d or bought out by a bigger co like Google or Dell (just examples) ???

    If so, (one of the biggest “Ifs”) I’m sure it would be conditional of him being on the Board of Directors and “possibly” retaining top dog exec status…. still yet, it would/could be tough for him to “answer” to anybody.

    2) If BP is selling all his equity on day one…how long will he be retained by the new board as an exec or special consultant to smooth over the transition of ownership, management and employee relations ???

    3) Will the new ownnership team and Board listen to the ideas, suggestions and recomendations savvy and large customers…to both benefit the company and customers alike…and take the biz to an even higher level ???

    4) As already addressed by many… What will hapen to Prices ??????????

    5) What will the Super Bowl commercials look like next year (wink) ????

    Who’s yo Daddy ???

  20. @Elliot

    I apologize for the snark. I knew you weren’t paid for the post – I just couldn’t understand the glowing endorsement. Still, each to his own. You’d think managing $8 domains would be easy enough for no registrar to screw up.

    The reality is that GoDaddy made a lot of the industry more publicly available; however, the market is now saturated with good, bad and mediocre registrar options.

    GoDaddy has a decent balance for non-portfolio holders. There are better options on price, support, management. Few, if any, are better in ALL.

  21. Hi! I have bought and sold many domain names over the years.I have pver 60 domains with Godaddy right now.The service has been good.I like the prices compared to any other company.

    Thanks Casey Mahoney


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