It’s impossible to not have heard of the major change that’s transforming Google as we know it. After the surprising news finally set in, the search giant – or better yet, its new mom – hit the world with a new round: it set up home on a very interesting online address: abc.xyz.
But this decision is only the front for a broader initiative that Larry Page, Google’s CEO, wanted to expand in: dot-word domain names. Unfortunately for him, his plans were quickly ruined by suits who weren’t interested in investing the money.
This is one of the many reasons that caused the revamping of Google, which is now a subsidiary to Alphabet, where Page is set to start his new leadership as CEO. The move has drawn the line between the money-making side of the business and the part that’s been focusing on creative invention and experimentation.
Page and his co-founder Sergey Brin were always fond of the latter, which meant they needed a plan to make sure the fun can keep on going with enough financial support. Back in 2012, Google had a little bit of this fun when it applied for the rights to own 101 new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) – paying no less than a $185,000 for each and every one of them.
There were plenty of domains that Google applied for, starting from the obvious (.google, .gmail) to the plain weird (.boo, .foo). The company’s staff has reported to The Register that the order for the large number of applications came directly from Larry Page, who insisted that the search giant should expand in gTLDs as part of his vision for future prospects (a.k.a. basically becoming the internet).
But when the applications were made public, Page’s vision got a punch in the stomach, because almost half of the domains it had applied for had interest from at least one other applicant. When further investment was required in order to get ownership of the domains through auction, the suits stepped in.
Google then decided to limit its applications to the company’s brand names – evidently – and those who had no other applicants. Page ended up letting go to 40 of the 101 names it originally applied for, and fought for only four: .map, .app, .search, and .phd.
The much contested domain name .app was the one that Google’s managers fought for the most, proving that it could have whatever domains it wanted; the company paid a whopping $25m to get owning rights for it, almost four times more than the second largest public auction ($6.7m for .tech).
Are we witnessing the end of “dot-com?” If Page is right, then the dot-word domains will be exploding in the years to come, and nobody can tell where this strange new trend will lead us to.
Image Source: 9to5 Google