By Matt Mickiewicz

Google’s Insider View As a Domain Registrar

By Matt Mickiewicz

Nick Wilsdon has posted an interesting blog post about just what Google knows as a Domain Name Registrar (which it became in Feb 2005):

believe Google has built or is building a tool to analyse domain names. The API access they were given as a Registrar allows them to carry out the level of automated queries they needed for this. I would also go further and suggest this tool is building up a historical picture of each domain through regular scraping of their WHOIS records.

Read the rest of Nick’s blog post.

  • MickoZ

    Is google registering domain to public? That could generate a lot of model and I am sure a lot of people would use them as registrar if the price were neat-o.

  • If google setup a system similar to Enom, built for resellers, I’d switch in a second if pricing were similar. And of course with Google’s financial backing, why wouldn’t it be?

  • I don’t think Google ever plans on selling domain names.

    They only chose to be a registrar to get access to data which would allow them to rank Websites more effectively.

  • Anonymous

    I didn’t think Google ever planned to offer traffic analysis services. I didn’t think Google ever planned to offer an interactive world map with satellite photography. I didn’t think Google ever planned to rely on user input as opposed to patented crawling, such as they do at Google Base. I didn’t think Google would buy 5% of a company with a terrible global reputation. And, like Matt, I don’t think Google ever plans to sell domain names.

  • Above was me.

    I’m wondering, since it’s been mentioned a couple of times on this page, if anybody could elaborate on this new data Google is getting themselves access to by becoming an accredited registrar. Hell, I’ve got access to the multi-GB Verisign zone files and unlimited access to any WHOIS report and – guess what – I’m far from accredited by ICANN. With an afternoon’s programming the reaping of pretty much any data on any domain I like could be stored and the process automated, of course not at the level which Google could do such a thing with all of their hardware and pipes. So, what exactly is their benefit from an informational p.o.v.?

  • cob

    Its about money. Everytime Google makes an announcement such as this their stock goes up $10.

  • Transpyre

    This is freakin’ amazing! What I am getting out of this is that Google may be using this as a way to eliminate or downgrade search relevance on sites based on domain name registration information. This could be a fantastic or a horrible thing depending on who you are. (I say fantastic). Say a company sets up several websites on different key word targeted domains, if Google can look at the domain registration and see these different sites owned by the same person, they could tank the results and push a more “legitimate” search result. Likewise, they could eliminate non-renewed sites from their search results or downgrade results for sites that don’t match up with the previous owner. Given Google’s crazy tendency for complex algorithms, they will also most likely develop a way to tag bogus registration info and downgrade or remove entries for domain names that don’t pass their legitimacy test. This is one of the only things I have even heard that Google MAY be doing that seems to be designed to improve search results – everything else just seems to be creating new places to stick AdSense.

  • Dr Livingston

    > I didn’t think Google would buy 5% of a company with a terrible global
    > reputation.

    it was indeed a bad move in business circles, but the feeling i get is they purchased the 5% to prevent microsoft getting their hands on it;

    microsoft is to some extent, been loosing ground with their client side software so microsoft are looking for alternate avenues, and that purchase was one of them, so go google, go :D

  • My question remains. What super-secret information does Google gain by becoming accredited? Anyone who’s registered a domain name knows that absolutely every piece of information they provide in the registration procedure (aside from their control panel login details) is readily available to anyone with a whois server. That being the case, what data is really left undisclosed to non-registrars? Why does everyone keep repeating the mantra that “Google did this for insider info” without attempting to define those last 2 words?

  • MickoZ

    How many does it become to become a registrar, and I thought not everyone could become one (or they are not a “top level” registrar)? As far as I remember, it costed a lot.

  • MickoZ

    And also I think some company (microsoft or other?) does or want to provide free domain name (but with ads). Might be another possibilities by becoming a registrar. Who know. GoogleHome / Googlecities (a la geocities, and all those other free webhost I used to use a lot before) / whetever? :P

  • Madmac, quote from the blog post I linked to:

    There is one very important benefit to becoming a direct Registrar with each ccTLD and TLD Registry; access to their APIs. While the Registries do provide a public WHOIS service this is often limited. In much the same way Google and Yahoo restrict automated searches, the Registries restrict queries on their data. As a Registrar you are entitled to carry out high volume automated queries.

  • Anonymous

    The Google ideas are inovative in its own way ! Is this is the begining of what the media is accepecting as GOOGLE GRID !

    Future will see the “Google Standard” of doing everything!


  • Thanks Matt; so it’s a question of volume. I’d think that with Google’s distributed datacenters, query-to-IP limitations on WHOIS digs wouldn’t really be a concern. Maybe this is just a simpler way to go about it (when you have the capital to apply for registrar status) than vastly distributed queries. And, let’s face it, this Google = registrar development is far more attention-grabbing than quietly querying the few hundred million registered domains. Look at all the free, speculative, even passionate press they’re getting even on this page.

  • www.webhosting.uk.com

    The good thing is that Google cannot access the customer information of other registrars. They only have access to the same information that you get when you use a public WHOIS service.

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