Google’s Pattern of Abandonment: Google Domains being sold to Squarespace
(An early morning rant from a loyal customer)
The last thing you want to deal with when you wake up in the morning is figuring out the whereabouts of your domains, as I did today. Godaddy acquired Uniregistry — and I have a couple of valuable .KY domains. I found myself spending a considerable amount of time trying to claim and reclaim them. To be clear, Godaddy is a domain registrar I would never endorse. While I understand that companies are in business to make money, Godaddy, notorious for its complex user interface and aggressive upselling tactics, is not a domain registrar that I would ever endorse.
However, the focus of this blog post isn’t about Godaddy’s registrar services. Instead, it centers on Google Domains. The frustration I experienced with Godaddy reminded me that I have over 20 domains registered with Google Domains. Given Google’s recent decision to sell its domain business to Squarespace, I am anticipating facing similar challenges when it comes to domain renewals.
The Unexpected News
The acquisition of Uniregistry by Godaddy served as a stark reminder of the challenges that can arise when trusted services change hands. However, this blog isn’t meant to dwell on the shortcomings of Godaddy. It’s about a surprising turn of events involving Google Domains, a registrar that had earned my trust and my business over the years.
Google Domains stood out in the crowded domain registrar market due to its usability (UI and UX) and reliability. It has a straightforward user interface, combined with seamless domain management tools. It was definitely my top choice for a domain registrar. Also, I enthusiastically recommended it to my clients, not just because of its user-friendliness but also because, in terms of pricing, it was unmatched.
The Disheartening News
But, as always, all good things must end. Google, in a move that left many scratching their heads, decided to sell its domain business to Squarespace. While I understand that Companies need to make a profit, isn’t it also the Company’s responsibility to provide core services to its customers? Aren’t domains a core service to an Advertising Business that ranks domains for a living? The pain of having to use a domain registrar service that I, personally, did not choose is a concern I would rather not have. It’s also unfair.
As a customer, I invest a significant amount of time in carefully selecting a service to use and recommend. When that service is sold, it feels like the rug is being pulled out from under you because you’re now compelled to use a service that you didn’t choose.
A Plea for Customer-Centric Services
This isn’t solely about Google or Squarespace; it’s a call for customer-centric services in the tech industry. Domains are the foundation of the World Wide Web, and managing these assets should be of paramount importance. While profit is vital, it should not come at the expense of customer needs. Am I barking up the wrong tree? Could it be that because my focus is on small businesses rather than public companies that I continue to hold this perspective? <shrug>
This Godaddy experience is a reminder that companies should consider the profound impact their decisions have on their users. I personally hope that Squarespace will provide a better experience than Godaddy.
In the future, I am no longer going to be excited about any new service that Google starts because it will inevitable be sold off, again and again, particularly if it doesn’t meet the profitability threshold of a public company.