Google launches invite-only domain registration service

Google Domains launched to fill void in SMB sector

With the launch of thousands of new top-level domains (TLDs), domains are a hot topic right now, and Google isn't prepared to miss out on the action.

The search giant has launched an invite-only domain registration service called Google Domains, which it hopes will be the place that businesses pick up their next .com, .uk or .barefoot (no, really).

In a company blog post it said that a "small number of people" will be invited to buy and transfer domain names through Google Domains in exchange for providing feedback.

Party hosts

Instead of hosting websites itself, Google has enlisted partners Shipify, Squarespace, Weebly and Wix to do it for you for an additional cost. That will also bag you extras such as drag and drop website creation, web templates, e-commerce and mobile site-management.

Google said that it launched the service after discovering that 55% of small business owners don't have a website. You can request an invite here.

The move is promising to shake up the domain registration space in a week that saw US domain giant GoDaddy filed for an IPO. GoDaddy has struggled to turn a profit in recent years, reporting a 2013 full-year loss of $199.9 (£338 million) and a 2012 full-year loss of $279 million (around £164 million).