NameCheap Overtakes Go Daddy

According to the Google Adword Keyword Tool, tens of thousands of people search for the term “domain name” each month (just under 100,000 searches). Go Daddy is the largest domain registrar, with tens of millions of domain names under management, and NameCheap is on its way to 3 million domain names under its control (check out the company’s 3 millionth domain registration contest).

I am not sure when this happened, but NameCheap has overtaken Go Daddy in Google for the key search term, domain name. Both companies still trail the Wikipedia page for that term, but it’s certainly a major boost for NameCheap to be listed ahead of Go Daddy. A search of the plural “domain names” shows that GoDaddy is still outranking NameCheap, with both companies trailing Wikipedia.

Over the last couple of years, NameCheap has aggressively courted Go Daddy customers and domain buyers with its tongue in cheek advertising and marketing campaigns. At the end of 2011 when Go Daddy flip flopped on its SOPA stance, NameCheap made a big push with people opposed to SOPA, and the company saw a surge in transfers.

NameCheap is a much smaller entity than GoDaddy, so it’s pretty remarkable to see them outranking Go Daddy for this key search term. As a result, Go Daddy and other companies are spending a lot of money on paid search, while NameCheap doesn’t seem to have the need (at least for this key term).

In case you are wondering, I used a non-work related computer to do the search since Google sometimes skews results based on search preferences and prior searches.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the 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. I just don’t understand why Wikipedia is still part of the organic search results. It’s really it’s own thing now and just taking up space in the list. Better to move it off to te side or do something like google maps and make it clear it’s not really a search result.

    Don’t get me wrong, I like Wikipedia there, in fact google is my wiki search, not, it just isn’t a search result anymore.

    Sorry I digress, off topic. GO NAMECHEAP!

    • Hi,

      Sorry but disagree. I want Wikipedia on the search results. A lot of people run searches for the purpose of finding the article on Wikipedia for whatever they are searching.

      Then usually the first hit is Wikipedia’s article, you click on it and you’re done.

      I do this many times a day.


  2. Bueno realmente nosotros somos usuarios de Namecheap y verdaderamente son muy buenos, tenenmos hosting y dominios con ellos y son buenos; les recomiendo ampliamente ya que la atención al Cliente de Namecheap es muy ágil y buena.
    Sobre Go-Daddy no tengo experiencia pero creo que cuando haces bien tu trabajo los resultados son los que hablan.
    Gracias Namecheap.

  3. The exodus of GoDaddy to NameCheap during GoDaddy’s support of SOPA played a huge role in this. NameCheap was one of the most vocal inviting people to switch and boycott GoDaddy going as far as offering transfer domain discounts.

    • @ temp

      I am sure Godaddy ranks well for many search terms related to domain names. However, this is a highly searched term (I show 90,500 exact match searches for “domain name” vs. 14,800 exact match for “register domain”).

  4. it’s funny that namecheap doesn’t even stand out. all they do is make a usable site and not being dicks. godaddy is just to bad that namcheap seems outstanding side by side.

  5. Surprising as you said both got a lot of links and social mentions out of the recent SOPA and africa hunting trip.

    Although it seems that namecheap got a lot of new backlinks compared to what the site used to have (less impact on godaddy). I could suspect the recent link velocity.

  6. I’ve been transferring all my domains to Namecheap. Clean interface, $9 registration with privacy, easy to use WITHOUT all the annoying upsells, downsells, cross-sells, etc.

  7. I’ve been a fan of namecheap for the last couple of years. I’ve been slowly transferring domain names over as they get close to renewing but I’m about ready to move my last few. I love not having to click through 100 times just to get to my shopping cart. I also like that although the price with a coupon at godaddy is slightly lower, I don’t have to worry about finding and renewing with a coupon every year to save a few bucks.

  8. Same- I’ve been consolidating and transferring all my domains to NameCheap.

    PROS: The free WhoisGuard (privacy) with every registration is awesome (yes, privacy is great, not everyone enjoys getting spammed every day. It’s not just for “scammers”), all of their updates (contact changes, add/remove privacy, etc) are always immediate for me. And there is barely any advertising- just a few clicks takes you to the purchase page.

    CONS: RARELY any discounts, and the few they have are only like 99 cents off. Also, they aren’t hooked up with Sedo MLS. And lastly, not a lot of extra “security” features (like complete domain lockdown, no account execs, etc).

    But overall I think they’re great.

  9. I assume Wikipedia ranks high because it….

    1) it is pure contents, instead of a tiny amount of content plus a bazillion ads.

    2) most of the time, Wikipedia is a good starting point for any subject matter.

    3) it is far more trustworthy than most web sites.

  10. This this is purely speculation, but I wonder if there has been a Google update recently favoring keywords (or keyword elements) in domain names. I periodically check the rankings for search terms relevant to the music business in my area, and I’m seeing some competitors/colleagues’ sites ranked higher than before – and in every case, the sites with boosted rankings have one or more search terms IN THE DOMAIN.

    Clearly, domain names have always factored in Google’s algorithm (and one of the reasons why it’s important for businesses to own the exact match domain for the services & products they provide), but I wonder if a recent shift has favored exact-or-partial match domains. I haven’t explored this more thoroughly because I haven’t had the time, but I thought it was interesting.

  11. Ok, my “search terms in the domain” theory has been shot down the fact that the #1 result (at least, on the computer I’m using) for “domain investing” is a .CO DOMAIN.

    Elliot’s blog is #2. This throws me for a loop, since Elliot’s site is older and has infinitely more backlinks than Nima’s site. Both sites are using sound SEO techniques but neither contains the words “domain investing” in the domain itself.

    I guess that proves my theory is wrong. But I’ve definitely noticed some shifts in rankings for searches I perform on a regular basis.

  12. Every try to call NameCheap on the telephone? What? You can’t. They don’t offer telephone support. GoDaddy does and it’s Free with registration. Call them at 2am on Thanksgiving… not a problem.

    Every try to find where NameCheap is located? You can’t, because they don’t have an actual street address. They work out of a Mailbox Drop in LA. Why? Who are they hiding from? GoDaddy has an actual street address.

    GoDaddy has over 35 million registered domains, more than 10x NameCheap. Why is that do you think? Because real business use GoDaddy and people who sit in their basement with nothing better to do use NameCheap, until something goes wrong then they see the real value in GoDaddy.

    Do you see NameCheap on that list anywhere? Why is that do you think?

    Bottom line is NameCheap is not really a Registrar they are an Enom reseller. As such they can not offer the serives of GoDaddy and REAL BUSINESS knows this.

    If you want to use a “Cheap” Registar use a good one like NameSILO which offers registration about $4 cheaper than NameCheap.

    People discover the truth eventually.

  13. I have used Namecheap’s services for almost 6 years now, and i really found that they are really doing a very very Good Job!!

    I used Godaddy when they are giving promotion on .info last year, where i find that the speed of their site very often, are very LACK in my country…(MYR)

  14. GOOD. GoDaddy rips off customers, shuts down their domains on a whim, and supports legislation that sactions MORE ripping-off of taxpayers.

    These scumbags need to have their asses handed to them.

  15. I guess it depends where you are. I searched the first 10 pages and NameCheap and GoDaddy didn’t even appear. GoDaddy was the second paid ad though, but in the generic search, both companies weren’t in the first 10 pages for me.

  16. It worth remembering that namecheap whois protection is free and you can switch it off in a few seconds while gd protection is totally rubbish ( you even have to go to different website which is time consuming).
    Gd protection you cannot swish it off. To do this you have to cancel it. AND YOU DO HAVE TO PAY FOR gd PROTECTION!!

    Also, at namecheap you have online chat which I find very good.
    I hate asking gd anything as I am tired of getting copy-paste replies which very often show that replier was in a hurry and did not read all my message or even do not understand how something works at godaddy.
    For 6 months I have not bought anything from gd as I feel like vomit when I think about going through many junk ads to finish a transaction.

    Please remember that gd was SOPA supporter but when noticed that he was loosing money he changed mind – it says all. If he was not losing money he would still be supporter and dis not care what you think..

    I cannot wait till my renewal date comes it will be a huge pleasure to transfer all my domains away from gd.

  17. I remember situation when one attorney form a company approached me regarding links on my domains (domain was automatically parked by godaddy, so I have nothing to do with that).
    But Godaddy tried to washed hands of it and told me that I could redirect my domain.
    After this situation I asked all registrars I have domains with who was responsible for links on automatically parked domains.
    Most registrars said, including Namecheap, that they were responsible.
    One more company who tried blame registrant for the links on automatically parked domain was domainmonster. So please be careful with these registrars.

  18. Very interesting post Elliot and I took a look at their link profiles and Godaddy has a lot of footer links with exact anchor text going after certain keywords. For example, check the footer of this page I wouldn’t doubt that Godaddy has had a lot of link devaluation over the past couple of months with those “tweaks” Google made.

  19. @Eliot
    “Incidentally, I have 100+ names at Godaddy, bid on their auctions, and have used them for about 8 years, while I do not have an account at NameCheap.”

    That means a lot,

  20. GoDaddy has fantastic customer service. I’ve helped other people with domains & other things while having chosen NameCheap off the bat. GoDaddy has a lot of things going for them and I’m definitely sticking to them. Nice post btw. 😉


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