Google Public DNS Could Be Data Treasure Trove for Google

Google DNS is a big deal.

Google announced today that it is launching Google Public DNS, a free DNS resolver that promises to speed up the web. This is a big deal for web site owners and domainers. Here’s why.

1. Google may have just killed OpenDNS. OpenDNS does effectively the same thing Google hopes to do with its DNS. OpenDNS (which I personally use) makes money by showing ads when you type in a domain that doesn’t exist. This is similar to what Verizon does. Now Google is competing with OpenDNS, and has a lot more to gain datawise. Meaning it will probably be free, with no catches, and could kill OpenDNS if Google adds more features to match OpenDNS.

2. Google could bring the ad game to non resolving domains. If they want to, they can play the OpenDNS game (see #1).

3. Public DNS will enable Google to determine where your browser takes you. For now, the company claims it won’t hijack your browser and play tricks, but the potential is there.

4. Data, Data, Data. DNS operators get loads of data. From non-existent domain queries (which many ISPs have sold to domainers) to traffic data, it’s a lot more than Google already gets. Google gets most of its data from searches that start at Google. It also gets some from its Adsense ads, Google Analytics, etc. But now it has the power to get complete web browsing data for people who use its DNS. Imagine if it used this data in its search algorithms?


  1. SL says

    This is just a guess but Google could approach ISPs and probably offer a better deal for non-resolves.

    In other words, the tracking data may be valuable enough to outright pay the ISPs to use GDNS. Instead of the current revenue sharing arrangement that they use for showing ads on non-resolvable domains. Depends on how profitable those pages are, anyone know?

    Btw, for anyone who hasn’t changed off their ISPs DNS already, go to Or just use L3’s servers at, etc

  2. says

    I’m starting to understand how Chrome will be more than “just a browser”, but a multi-stream revenue generator.

    This post also reinforces the value of direct navigation domains imo, pure generics that are not search engine dependent.

  3. Matt says

    Good for now. Bad down the road.

    Not just Google. This would happen with any company in this type of position.

    We’ve already been down this road with Microsoft.

  4. says

    I’ve always been anoyed by openDNS. I’m probably going to start sounding nuts since this isn’t the first claim of this nature I’ve made here but yes, like the GoDaddy geo domain search tool (although it seems there were others that had the idea before GoDaddy as well), openDNS was my idea first too. Again just failed to execute before someone else did. I think my problem is I dream up these big concepts that are difficult to execute so it never happens. I think I should start looking into doing patents on these ideas when I come up with them instead. Maybe a better approach.

  5. says

    I for one won’t miss ‘Open’DNS. Not open at all. I got my non-resolving pages back using the Verizon opt-out settings. I’m trying out the Google Public DNS right now and badly formed urls are not resloving, not being hijacked. I do worry about down the road though and do think we need a truly open DNS service. Maybe a Mozilla or someone like that will take it on at some point.
    Verizon and Virgin opt-out instructions here:

    PS, Intersting that the Ad Blocker Plus for Firefox plug-in breaks your CSS. Is that on purpose?

  6. says

    The world turned on Microsoft because they “installed their browser on every computer”. If only those wasteful anti-trust committees could have seen where the real danger lies. G is here sucking away rights and privacy, step by step, with not a single anti-competitive filing.

  7. willemijns says

    look for “vivilproject dns” on a search engine and list a lot of public DNS other than google dns and opendns… i do not love my private surf can be tracked for ads reasons :-(

  8. says

    The google service is not nearly as robust as OpenDNS. For one it provides no stats and it doesnt allow for filtering etc… Either gotta be way better then most peoples ISPs DNS.

  9. notOpenGoogleDNS says

    You Pseudo Wannabe Techies here do make me chuckle.
    Why on earth would you want to use SLOWER (let me repeat this for the hard of understanding – SLOWER) third-party DNS servers?
    I don’t get-it how you could possibly think that Google, OpenDNS, or L3’s DNS servers could possibly be quicker than your ISP’s.

    Run some tests, you will be shocked how slow it is to go all the way out onto the internet for a DNS query (good or bad one!) – then try your ISP’s.
    Now at this point you understand WHY you need DNS servers close to you as a user, and not use ones half way across the continent.

    Here you go: (will use your default – ISP if you have not yet been stupid enough to make the change)
    Look for: ;; Query time: 92 msec

    Then try Google:
    dig @
    ;; Query time: 771 msec

    PS. a bigger number is bad BTW

    Case closed, stop bleating on about some stupid idea that Google would ever be faster.
    *repeat as many times as you like.

  10. SL says

    Holy crap, notOpenGoogleDNS. How could you possibly have missed the point of this topic so badly?

    The issue is not about speed. It’s about tracking and ads served on non-resolvable queries. Hence the choice to use other public, unfettered DNS servers instead of your ISP’s tainted offerings.

    Like anything else in life, yes, there will be a tradeoff. In my case the IPs served up by are *slightly* slower. If there are problems then it takes about 30 seconds to pick another one. BFD.

    Btw, 1334 skillz with that dig query.

  11. BF says

    I use chrome as my default browser, and rely on gmail for email. The connection of my gmail/google account to my browsing history is my primary reason for not using Google DNS, despite their claim the connection will never happen.

  12. says

    Great move by the giant,rather, as Mansour said “PAcman of 21st century”, but the ISP’s can configure their routers to direct DNS requests to their own servers.
    It wont be surprising if Google uses this whole lot of data in their search algorithms, in near future.

  13. says

    I tried Google Public DNS and its fast
    My report shows almost 50% less latency but when I changed name server for one of domain
    it took time to reflect that changes on my local PC and as soon as I changed it to Open DNS
    I can see name server change

  14. SL says

    Whoa…be careful folks! The “DNS changer” link in the message above could easily be a trojan.

    Google “dns changer” for more info.

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