New registrations plummet after Squarespace takes over Google Domains

Unsurprisingly, the strong brand name mattered.

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Squarespace acquired Google Domains on September 8, 2023, and we now have an idea of how important the Google brand name was to ginning up registrations there.

ICANN has published data from .com registry Verisign showing new registrations at each registrar for September.

In August, Google Domains and Squarespace registered a combined 250,324 domains. In September, they registered just 189,713 new .com domains.

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Google is using Squarespace when people buy some of its products that need a domain and is also sending people to Squarespace when they land on the Google Domains site. (Google Domains still shows up #2 for me in Google when I search for domain names.) Still, it’s clear that the brand name drove a lot of registrations. And these numbers reflect only .com domains, so it’s surely a bigger delta when including all domains.

The winners? Other registrars that picked up the registrations that would have gone to Google had it still been a domain registrar.

Below is a chart showing how the largest registrars did in terms of new registrations in September. Note that the rankings include multiple registrar accreditations within families of registrars. You can see the list at the end of this post. (I started including Mesh Digital and the five “Go” registrars (e.g., Go China Domains) in GoDaddy’s numbers this month. This added about 2k new registrations and 530k total registrations.)

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1. GoDaddy.com (NYSE: GDDY) 715,431 (775,175 in August 2023)
2. Namecheap Inc. 283,620  (291,747)
4. Newfold Digital 216,538 (169,663)
3. Squarespace (NYSE: SQSP) 189,713 (250,324)
5. Tucows (NASDAQ: TCX) 163,648 (163,629)
6. Gname.com 133,917 (115,409)
7. IONOS 79,420 (99,454)
8. Alibaba 71,895
9. Dynadot 71,212
10. Wix 70,798 (71,825)

Here’s the leaderboard of the top registrars in terms of total .com registrations under management as of the end of August.

1. GoDaddy 56,142,674 (55,638,534 in August 2023)
2. Newfold Digital 12,380,044  (12,370,532)
3. Tucows 11,113,636 (11,131,272)
4. Namecheap 9,387,689 (9,376,275)
5. Squarespace 8,184,335 (8,166,306)
6. TurnCommerce 5,940,486 (5,958,992)
7. IONOS# 5,669,464 (5,659,585)
8. Alibaba 4,187,402 (4,213,654)
9. Gname 4,237,209 (4,155,354)
10. CentralNic 3,826,492 (3,910,648)

Many domain companies have multiple accreditations, and I’ve tried to capture the largest ones. See the notes below.

  • GoDaddy includes GoDaddy, Wild West Domains, Uniregistry, GoDaddy Corporate Domains, MeshDigital, the 5 “Go Country” registrars, and 123 Reg
  • Namecheap includes Namecheap and Spaceship
  • Tucows includes Tucows, Enom, Ascio and EPAG
  • Newfold Digital Includes PDR, Domain.com, FastDomain, Bigrock, Network Solutions, Register.com, MarkMonitor, SnapNames registrars, and Crazy Domains/Dreamscape. There are other Newfold registrars, but these are the biggest.
  • Squarespace includes Squarespace and Google
  • TurnCommerce Includes NameBright and DropCatch registrars
  • IONOS includes Includes 1&1, PSI, Cronon, United-Domains, Arsys, and world4you
  • CentralNic includes Key-Systems, 1API, Internet.bs, TLD Registrar Solutions, RegistryGate, Moniker, Instra

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