Google launched their public DNS product this week allowing each computer user to reconfigure their internet settings and begin using the free service.
Every internet connection relies on a DNS server to resolve domain names into an ip address.
Generally this service is provided free of charge by your internet provider.
In the past there have been many cases where software installs and viruses will reconfigure a user’s internet settings and set their computers to use a malicious set of DNS servers. After doing so the person can be falsely redirected to another site any time a domain is entered.
Many Internet Service Providers (ISP) display paid search results when a user types a domain name that doesn’t exist, and actually is common practice for many of the larger ISP’s.
On Tuesday, ICANN issued a statement condemning this practice, going as far to say it could harm the internet and cited other privacy concerns.
The draft agreement for owners of new gTLDs would ban DNS hijacking like this at the registry level.
So whats in this for Google?
First in handling millions of DNS requests a day, Google would get an accurate visitor count for each website.
Google could then adjust its search results and rankings based on a site’s popularity or at least take that into account as one of the factors in ranking sites.
Its will also increase Google search market share, since some of the ISPs who resolve inactive domains to paid search pages, do so with competitor’s feeds.
Google will not be taking this traffic and putting it to its own PPC ads, so non-resolving pages will just not resolve, but it will take that traffic currently going from other ISP to its competitors basically away from them if people change their settings.
For the users, Google says the new service is more accurate and faster than other DNS servers.
Google says they have developed a huge cache of popular domains which are continuously refreshed. So Whenever you go to one of those sites, Google will display the site a lot faster than your regular ISP does.
While fractions of a second may not seem like a big advantage, for someone who goes to hundreds of sites daily this could be significant enough to make the change worthwhile.
However, at least one initial benchmark test is reporting a slight increases in speed using Google DNS, so lets say the jury is out on the speed issue.
Finally I know some of your will be concerned about privacy issues and giving Google your surfing habits.
Google says that its Public DNS service will only keep your IP address for 48 hours and then delete it.
For more information about Google’s Public DNS service and instructions on how to update your settings click here