Early last year, ICANN opened up applications for generic top-level domains. At the end of it all, it was revealed that Google applied for 101 gTLDs. Now more details are starting to emerge on what Google plans to do with them.
CNET reports that Google sent a letter to ICANN last week about its intentions for the gTLDs it had applied for. Most of the letter is spent dispelling the fear that new gTLDs will stifle competition on the Internet by giving Internet giants like Google a distinct advantage on the Web over smaller startups and competitors. The most interesting part of the letter, however, is this one paragraph:
After careful analysis, Google has identified four of our current single registrant applications that we will revise: .app, .blog, .cloud and .search. These terms have been identified by governments (via Early Warning) and others within the community as being potentially valuable and useful to industry as a whole. We also believe that for each of these terms we can create a strong set of user experiences and expectations without restricting the string to use with Google products.
What this means is that Google recognizes some of the gTLDs it applied for would better serve the company if others could use them. In a report from last year, it was presumed that Google would be saving the above gTLDs for its own products, or perhaps leasing them out only to certain partners. This new revelation from Google seems to indicate that the company is willing to open these domains to the public.
Of course, it should be noted that Google does not own these domains yet. Other companies, like Amazon, has also applied for many of these same gTLDs. That being said, Google is planning to do something with these domains if it can obtain them. The question now is what that something is.
Most seem to think that Google will use these domains to enter the lucrative domain registrar business. Such a move would put Google in direct competition with Go Daddy and others offering similar services. With domains like .soy and .fun potentially on offer, who wouldn’t want to register through Google?