Now that it seems that Google will operate a public domain registrar, I am curious how this will affect the secondary market for domain names. Reports suggest that Google’s primary audience for domain name registrations might be the small businesses because the company’s research shows that 55% of those companies do not have a website yet.
In my opinion, the vast majority of small businesses who sign up for Google Domains will want to get a domain name that matches their business name. For instance, Jimmy’s Clam Shack will probably want to hand register JimmysClamShack.com. If that domain name wouldn’t be available, Google might suggest Jimmys.Restaurant or ClamShack.Menu.
Although these options will be good for the vast majority of small businesses, there will probably be a few who would prefer to buy a domain name like ClamShack.com or Jimmys.com instead of only being able to register what’s available. Some of these companies are likely going to be willing to spend more money to purchase one of these domain names in the secondary market. This makes me curious about how Google will handle domain names in the secondary market.
IMO, Google wants to make it easy for businesses to buy domain names. They should also want to make it easier to buy domain names in the aftermarket as well. Instead of making a couple dollars on a .whatever hand registration, the could make hundreds of dollars (and make their customer happy) by helping them privately acquire the perfect domain name in the aftermarket.
There are a number of companies in the domain space that are in a good position to capitalize on this. Domain Name Sales, Afternic, and Sedo could all potentially work out distribution deals with Google. It’s possible that Google will offer a private domain name acquisition service, and they probably should consider it since many searched domain names will not be available to hand register.
I think Google has the potential to impact the secondary domain name market, and I look forward to seeing if that’s the case and how it impacts my business.