It can be a lot of fun to predict who Google may buy next. So when a colleague pointed out a blog post on Domain Name Wire last week that suggested Google could buy GoDaddy, I went fishing.
Noting that registrar GoDaddy has been on a veritable patent filing rampage (more than 50 pending), Domain Name Wire editor Andrew Allemann specifically pointed to a search patent application GoDaddy filed in May 2006 for presenting search engine results based on domain name related reputation data.
A glance at the patent summary on UPTO's Web site confirmed the filing is right in Google's bailiwick: "The search engine may sort or order search engine results based on domain name related reputation data. In some cases links connected to low reputation domain names may be excluded from search engine results. Alternatively, the search engine may show reputation ratings next to the links in the search engine results. Thus, allowing the Internet user to determine whether to visit the link or not. The reputation data may be tracked on the domain name itself, URLs, domain name purchaser or registrant, or email addresses associated with the domain name."
There is also a filing for providing a user with domain name suggestions in response to a search performed on a computer network, as well as numerous filings for e-mail, VOIP and other patents the ever-expanding Google may find valuable.
Wouldn't the GoDaddy patents go along way toward helping Google's goal to get more information from search queries?
As Allemann pointed out "Google would get its hands on reams of data about the very domain names it is indexing, as well acquire its patent portfolio." Oh, and Google has been an official registrar for two years and partners with GoDaddy and ENOM to distribute domain registrations for $10 a year.
I haven't heard a peep from Google and GoDaddy is getting back to me later.
Could it be that GoDaddy is ramping up its IP filing cycle to defend against any Google power moves here, or maybe even to make itself more attractive to the search giant?
Can you imagine the marketing campaigns in the wake of this union? The GoDaddy's girls would swap their tight tees for Google shirts. The "oo" letters in Google would certainly be strategically placed. Marketing minds will hit warp speed for new Web and TV campaigns for the Super Bowl.