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Google Set to Acquire Top Level Domains “.youtube,” “.docs,” and “.lol”

In a blog post, Google announced that it was participating in the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers application process for new top-level domains. You know, the process that is going to make “.geekosystem” into a reality. Though short on details, the post suggests that the company is aiming for some pretty interesting purchases.

The brief blogpost outlines four categories of domain purchases Google is planning to make, and an example of each. From Google:

  • Our trademarks, like .google
  • Domains related to our core business, like .docs
  • Domains that will improve user experience, such as .youtube, which can increase the ease with which YouTube channels and genres can be identified
  • Domains we think have interesting and creative potential, such as .lol

The first of these categories, defending trademarks, has been a problematic issue for the new expansion of top-level domains. Companies and other major organizations will now be forced to not only purchase relevant .com URLs, but novel top-level domains as well. In this example, Google is trying to purchase .google to prevent someone else from getting it first and running a website like CaliforniaWigSex.google. Remember how WhiteHouse.com used to be a porn site? Same problem, just different domain.

The creation of these new top-level domains has been rather fraught since it was announced some months ago, and ICANN is now putting a freeze on the application process.

Though Google has remained tight-lipped about what it intends to do with these domains, or what other domains it will be purchasing, one thing is certain: If their applications are accepted, they’re going to spend a lot of money. Purchasing just a single new domain costs $185,000 up front and another $25,000 a year to keep the domain. Hopefully whatever “.lol” hilarity Google is planning will be worth it.

(Google Blog via Ad Age)

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