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Would you buy a domain from Google? Industry weighs in on web giant's move

A hit, miss or maybe?

Earlier today, Google opened the doors to its Google Domains shop: its attempt to disrupt the internet domains market by going head-to-head with big daddy GoDaddy.

The domain-name industry itself is meeting in Las Vegas at the NamesCon 2015 conference, so we asked a few attendees what they thought of the move.

Richard Lau, Founder of NamesCon conference and domain investor

"It's like when WalMart moves into your neighborhood: a double-edge sword. It's recognition of the importance that every person, business or thing should have a domain name. So it's an opportunity, but also a danger for incumbents who will have to step up their game. The real winner though is the end user."

Jennie-Marie Larsen, domain name marketer

"Google is in a position to make domain names something simple, flexible and lightweight: to make domains accessible to the rest of us. So I applaud Google for this; it will make our industry better."

Frank Michlick, domain name entrepreneur

"The first thing I noticed was that they had integrated their Blogger platform – that may present some challenges for the hosting industry. They also have premium names, which is an interesting component and we'll see how that impacts sales. I think this is probably just the beginning and Google may offer all its services for free, paid for by ads. That might ruffle the market a bit. The key aspect will be how well Google integrates systems: for example they are using KeySystems for their back-end and a different system for premium names."

Fred Felman, tech marketer and industry veteran

"This industry is ripe for disruption. And nobody, with a few exceptions, gets it. It's about the whole product - nobody in small business land is looking for a domain, they want a whole online presence."

Andrew Allemann, editor of DomainNameWire

"I think Google's entry into the registrar business has been overblown. So far, their system is very basic and I'm not sure how serious they are. I think they're tipping their toes in the water to see if they can use domains as a way to get more people online and use their other services. If it doesn't work, it will go the way of many of Google's other failed projects."

Rolf Larsen, CEO of dotGlobal

"We'll see if this brings something new to the table. It might expand the industry, although we have seen people like Microsoft try something like this before without a lot of success.

"I like the simple interface to search and select domains, but I'm not too impressed with the launch as there seems to be almost no features and hosting functions compared to a regular registrar or hosting company. The search didn't provide much relevant suggestions as you would expect.

"It's a tiny start that can only be successful if Google spends resources on this and add web apps or Google apps that connect with your domain. No matter what, this initiative will help drive awareness [of gTLDs]." ®

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