Will Outage Hurt GoDaddy Where Activists Failed?

Hundreds of thousands of website owners and administrators found themselves feverishly refreshing their browsers Monday after GoDaddy’s servers went dark.

Now, GoDaddy is fighting to convince the public that the outage was the result of internal problems, not a hack by Anonymous Collective activists. But the bigger question may be, will the annoyance users experienced Monday convince users to go elsewhere for their web hosting?

GoDaddy, famous for its racy Superbowl commercials, is responsible for a whopping 32 percent of domain name registrations around the world. That’s more than 30 million domains.

But the company has come under fire for free speech issues and, particularly, for its support of the much-disliked Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). Some high-profile clients, including Wikipedia, pulled their business from GoDaddy over that issue.

Overall, though, as Drew Bowling noted at WebProNews, the issue didn’t make a dent in the company’s market share.

Of course, many clients who don’t care much about issues like SOPA might be more upset by losing their websites for a day. It isn’t the first time GoDaddy has gone offline, either. Then again, all servers go down now and then, whether because of electrical storms or hackers. Businesses that really depend on never experiencing downtime know they need to have redundant or backup systems in place.

If customers want to go elsewhere for domain registration and hosting, GoDaddy has plenty of competitors, but so far none of them approach it in popularity.

Of course, if GoDaddy was really taken down by a hack, and if it ends up getting targeted repeatedly, things could change. But there’s no real reason to expect that. The company insists the trouble on Monday was all about an internal glitch that corrupted its router data tables.

Even if they’re wrong, it’s not clear that hacks will continue. The closest the supposed hacker, who used the Twitter handle @AnonymousOwn3r, came to explaining himself was a post saying, “I’m taking godaddy down bacause well i’d like to test how the cyber security is safe and for more reasons that i can not talk now .” Not really a clear enough message for site owners to base any decisions on.

Article first published as Will Outage Hurt GoDaddy Where Activists Failed? on Technorati.
1 reply
  1. Kevin Ohashi says:

    It’s an interesting question and I think I can shed a bit of light on it. It seems like the biggest reputational hit we’ve seen. If you look at the trends chart (chart is here: reviewsignal.com/webhosting/company/34/godaddy/) you can see the September dip. It’s quite substantial. But it recovers fairly quickly. The marketing power behind them seems to keep going regardless of any negative press.

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