Google surprised the industry when it became accredited as a registrar more than two years ago, with analysts questioning whether or not it was planning to challenge the registrar incumbents.
But Google insisted it just wanted to gain a better understanding of the DNS (domain name system) to support its Google Apps strategy. The search engine provider later partnered with registrars GoDaddy and Enom to sell domain names under the Google Apps for Your Domain package for $10 per year as a subscription.
But some industry experts are wondering if there is more to this relationship than meets the eye.
Andrew Allemann, editor of the Domain Name Wire blog and a self-described "domain name enthusiast," suggested GoDaddys rabid filing of patent applications for search, VOIP, e-mail and domain technologies could make GoDaddy, which is known for its racy commercials featuring busty vixens, an attractive target for the acquisition-prone Google.
One patent, for example, would allow for search results to be filtered according to the reputation score of a domain name or that domain name owners reputation. Another prescribes a way to help entrepreneurs kick-start Internet businesses, including ways to trademark domain names, copyright content and order secure certificates.
"Google would get its hands on reams of data about the very domain names it is indexing, as well as acquire its patent portfolio," Allemann wrote in a blog post on Aug. 22.
Read more here about Googles potential bid for GoDaddy.
Going to the source only whetted the appetite further for the skinny.
When asked whether Google and GoDaddy are working on expanding their existing relationship or discussing a union, GoDaddy CEO Bob Parsons told eWEEK August 27: "I have no comment on that, but Id like to."
Parsons noted that GoDaddy remains the "back end for the Google Apps for Your Domains" offering. Moreover, Parsons said GoDaddy provides Google AdWords opportunities to millions of customers, as well as "tools they can use to optimize their Web sites for Google."
Asked if Google and GoDaddy are making a lot of money from this practice, Parsons said, "I know Google likes it."
Allemann said this likely means GoDaddy uses a Google advertising feed when it "parks" customers pages, which is basically a domain name that leads users to a screen full of advertising links. The person who owns the domain name will get paid every time someone clicks on this domain name. (See, for example, rumcakes.com).
"Since Go-Daddy is the largest registrar and Google makes a significant amount of money from parked page ads, [Google] could lock down that advertising base there [by buying GoDaddy], and keep GoDaddy from switching to Yahoo or something like that," Allemann said.
Google is less revealing. When asked to characterize its current relationship with GoDaddy, anything the two companies might be working on, and whether Google has entertained the notion of buying GoDaddy, a Google spokesperson issued the following statement:
Page 2: Google-GoDaddy Marriage on Tap?