Google may be gearing up to sell top level domains (TLDs) like GoDaddy and Hover. In a blog post last year, Google listed the 101 new domains that it applied for when ICANN opened up registrations. Google paid $185,000 just to apply for each domain name, bringing the grand total to about $18.7 million to try to get these TLDs. That didn't guarantee that the Mountain View company would actually be awarded those domains, so why did they shell out the cash to do it? The official Google response is "to make the introduction of new TLDs a good experience for web users." From Google:
"Our main focus is to make the introduction of new TLDs a good experience for web users. We're just beginning to explore a new source of innovation on the web, and we are both excited and curious about the potential for these new TLDs. By opening up more choices for Internet domain names, we believe users will have options for more diverseâ€”and perhaps shorterâ€”signposts in cyberspace."
There are a couple of solid reasons that we can see for Google to spend this kind of money to obtain these new domains, and they all revolve around getting more people online, using Google services. That will translate to more people seeing ads from Google, which in turn means more ad sales and higher revenues. Google is making a massive push into the African and Asian continents to bring people the internet, sometimes for the very first time in their lives. One of the goals of Android 4.4 KitKat and the new Motorola Moto G is to bring the internet to the "next billions users" via Android powered smartphones. More users online equals more data for Google and more money in their figurative pocket.
These new TLDs will give Google another avenue to get people online. If they make it simple and inexpensive for businesses and consumers to register a .team or .baby domain, more people will end up building their own websites. Google can take all of that data and sell it, and they can also sell ads to those new domain owners. Google is already an integral part of the internet as we know it, and they intend to stay on top.