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New Owner for Google.de Domain?

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This is weird. Reports come in from Netherlands a Dutch reader that Google Germany, Google.de, is now forwarding to Marc Keilwerth’s Goneo.de (I can’t reproduce this).

Others tell me Google.de has a new owner since January 22nd: Martin R. from Wiesbaden, Germany (with Mario M. listed as technical contact).

Danny over at Search Engine Land also sees Goneo when he tries to access Google.de. He ends up at a screen showing German C-star Mirco Nontschew next to the message “Fr diese Domain wurden keine Inhalte hinterlegt. Bitte schauen Sie zu einem spteren Zeitpunkt nochmal vorbei…”, which translates to, “No content was provided for this domain. Please come back again later…”

[Thanks Alexander Svensson and Michiel Ouwerkerk!]

[Edit: The temporary domain owner in question requested from me that his personally identifiable information be removed from the article, so I removed the full names.]

Update: The domain ownership went back to Google some hours ago, at around 9:00 CET. Google did not provide us with a comment yet, but according to information from German IT news sites Golem and Heise, here’s what happened.

In mid-January 2007, someone issued a request with web host Goneo.de for ownership of Google.de (this is called a “KK-Antrag” here). Without further verifications, Goneo forwarded this request to German domain manager DeNIC, who then asked Google Inc if this change was OK. But Google failed to answer to this question in time (within 5 days, according to Hosting-Domain.de), which DeNIC treats as a silent acknowledgment – causing an automated change of the domain ownership from Google Inc to Goneo at around 20:30 CET yesterday.

But that’s not the end of it – Goneo realized what happened and blindly allowed DeNIC to free the domain. Soon thereafter, another “KK” change request was issued by a Wiesbaden domain merchant (Heise and Golem refer to Martin R. or Mario M., I guess)… who, around midnight, found himself to be the new owner of Google.de.

Amazing.


Visitors to Google.de saw this last night for some time…

[Thanks Ionut & everyone who commented! Goneo screenshot Creative Commons licensed by Rustybrick.]

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Philipp Lenssen from Germany, author of 55 Ways to Have Fun With Google, shares his views & news on the search industry in the daily Google Blogoscoped.

New Owner for Google.de Domain?
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