Talking about Google and speculating about their future plans is like gossiping about a famous celebrity, especially as Google is still one of the top brands around, No. 2 for 2004 and No. 1 for the preceeding two years. If our rife speculation proves to be even slightly right we’ll gain street cred from our peers for being able to predict what this billion dollar baby was going to do. If we’re wrong people will just think “Google is such an enygma”.
The other thing about Google speculation is the fact that whatever wild ideas we come up with, Google has the ability to implement them. Google is dream-come-true-land, they have the brain power, they have the technical infrastructure and they have the cash mountain.
So, when we all heard about Google becoming a domain registrar we were all going “Oooh ooooh, maybe they can do this, and this and this “. However, maybe it’s something simple. Last year, almost a full year to the day it became a registrar , Google was stopped by Network Solutions from taking Whois information from the NetSol servers and displaying them on Google search results. NetSol said it was worried about their customers being spammed. I’m sure the additional server load from Google didn’t help matters either. It was probably more to do with revenue though.
Displaying whois information on Google allows it to sell targeted ads from other competing domain registrars and thus bypassing NetSol who generate a lot of new customers from whois lookups. Google is all about keeping you on their property longer, the more online time you spend with them the more ad income they can generate. I wonder will Google start selling the domains themselves now, or just use their registrar license for lookups and remain selling ads ?
So maybe this is all they’re doing for now anyway, but who knows what the next level will be once they integrate whois information ?
Read on another blog(which I can’t remember) an additional reason for being a registrar: knowing when domains expire so they can set the PageRank to zero. Since a lot of people are buying up expired domains with good page ranks and then polluting search results with them, wiping their rankings after expiration would improve the search quality.