Google Does Domaining Like Big Time Extortion
Written by Mike James   
Saturday, 16 February 2019

Google Domains has the rights to the .dev Top Level Domain and intends to make as much money from it as possible - $11,500 just for early access to the scramble to register the most desirable names.

The practice of domain name investing, domaining or domain name speculation, is either a legitimate business opportunity or a grubby land grab depending on how you view it. The idea is simply to register names that other people might find attractive, hopefully essential, in the future and then sell at as big a profit as possible. If the enterprise wanting the name is a big business then often the actual economics of buying the name is never considered. Will having the name actually provide payback on the sum asked for? For instance, sold for over $300 million. Did it produce an additional profit of $300 million over some reasonable time period, or was it just a useless totem, an expensive good luck charm? Do users really take note of domain names?

I think the answer is probably not and certainly not as much as they used to. 

Even though this is so people still try and make money from buying domain names and it seems they are still successful enough to keep doing it.


Google is administering the new TLD .dev and has decided to make some extra income by an interesting new twist on domaining. They are opening general registration on February 28th when they will charge a fairly standard $12 per year for registration. However if you want, really, really want a .dev name and you don't want someone else to get it then you can pay $11,500 to get access on the Feb 19th and try your luck at registering the names you want. Notice the cash doesn't guarantee you any particular name - you just get to join the scrum a bit earlier.



If $11,500 is too steep for you then the charge reduces as time ticks on - $3,500 on Feb 20th, $1,150 on Feb 21st,  $350 on Feb 22nd and $125 on Feb 25th. You can tell how Google thinks the sale will go by they way the charge goes down. There isn't going to be much left after a few rounds of scavenging.


A domain just for developers is a disingenuous slogan. Not many developers have sufficient resources to spare to invest $11,500 on the off-chance that they might get their particular heart's desire for a domain name - though some do. There are going to be lots of side projects and hobby projects that have just missed their chance to get appropriate domain names. What is likely to happen is that speculators will pounce on a great many .dev names and then sit on them, waiting for developers earn enough to buy them at an inflated non-negotiable price.

I usually don't object to companies making money - it is what they are there for - but this feels grubby and money grabbing. It also defeats the object of having a .dev TLD as not many devs are going to get their hands on one. 


More Information

A domain just for developers

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Last Updated ( Saturday, 16 February 2019 )