Google Subdomains On Double Secret Probation

    July 28, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

UK-based developer Tony Ruscoe, doing some routine Google sleuthing, believes he may have uncovered a few quiet Google projects. Judging solely from subdomains, one might surmise Google has a lot up its sleeve.

When Google unveiled a smattering of new products this past Spring, there also came with the unveiling a promise that this would be a big release year for the company. The Googleplex is well-known for the side-project assembly line inside, as Google-drones devote 20 percent of their time to what Marissa Mayer admits are expected to die on the launch pad.

Ruscoe treats us to a tale of intrigue and secrecy as some interesting names appear and his Google detective comrades come out of the woodwork. This could be something. It could be nothing. Reexamining the subdomain he located last year,, Ruscoe noted a group of other subdomains he assumes are used for development and testing of new or experimental services.

Among the names on the list, some are quite familiar: Google Writely, Local, Mobile, Talk, and WiFi. But newer names won the attention. Here they are so you can join the speculation:

    Google Events: Commentators doubt this is a twin to Calendar. But the peanut gallery is still uncertain as to what exactly it could entail.

    Google Guess: Your guess is as good as anyone else’s. Google already has a Suggest function to guide searchers more quickly on their way. A Magic 8-Ball service? A lottery ticket number generator? A probability game? A page devoted to tall blonde jeans models?

    Google Online Assessment: Ruscoe concedes this could be an internal platform for Google employees. He also speculates it could be used for qualifying sales leads. Maybe an offshoot of Analytics? An automated Web-doctor? An online branding investigator?

    Google Real Estate Search: This one is very interesting. Is it possible Google is experimenting with a vertical search engine to create a directory of the real estate market. I know a few reps that will jump at it.

    Google Mobile Marketplace: Ruscoe writes, “Maybe number 13 in John Battelle’s Predictions 2006 post will come true. Maybe Google will finally plug mobile ‘into the web in a way that makes sense for the average user’ and maybe they’ll also be the ones to create “a major mobile innovation – the kind that makes us all say – Jeez that was obvious.”

Whatever Google’s doing with these double secret subdomains, the mystery adds to the fascination that Googlites have with the company and keeps people buzzing. It can be said about the company’s famous secrecy: it generates buzz, conspiracy theory, disappointment, and awe all at the same time, with just 20 percent of the effort.

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