October 11, 2021

The Men With The Golden Domain

O07 Graphics (5)

Staying on top of your domain portfolio is crucial to protecting your brand online. Monitoring your portfolio helps to avoid domain expirations, identifies potential gaps, risks and redundant domains so you maintain the right sized portfolio.

Managing a domain portfolio is not always an easy task, as demonstrated by the worlds most visited website, Google. The Google search platforms handle 3.5 billion searches every day, which saw the company’s profits hit $181 billion last year. This means one-minute of disruption to their service, due to the simple mistake of a domain expiration, could cost the company $2.5 million, but that would never happen at a tech giant like Google right?

In fact, due to mismanagement of their domain portfolio, there have been two instances in the last 6 years where members of the public have been able to acquire the golden google domain.

The first incident: Google.com 2015

Sanmay Ved

Famously, in 2015 Google missed the deadline to renew Google.com, creating an opportunity for former Google employee Sanmay Ved to slip in and acquire the domain rights for just $12. Ved purchased the domain using Google’s domain registration service after the company had lost ownership of it. However, this acquisition didn’t last long with Google reversing the transaction and sending Ved a cancellation order after just one minute, returning ownership of google.com back to Google.

Despite the happy resolution to this event, with Google donating money to charity in Ved’s name, allowing google.com to expire could have had catastrophic results for the company.

The second incident: Google.com.ar 2021

google.com.ar screengrab (2)

As reported by the BBC in April of this year, lightening struck twice, with Google’s Argentinian domain being bought by a web designer while the site was out of action for two hours.

Nicolas Kurona noticed that google.co.ar was down, so he decided to go on to the Network Information Center Argentina (NIC) searching for Google - and up popped Argentina's Google domain (screengrab above), available for just 270 pesos (£2.08/$2.90). Although, once again this acquisition was short lived with the NIC returning the domain back to Google after just a few minutes.

The assumption for this event is that Google has simply forgot to renew their Argentinian domain, as they had done previously with google.com in 2015. However, the company has since claimed that its licence for the domain hadn't expired - and was not due to expire until July 2021. This claim has been verified by the Open Data Córdoba group (which is dedicated to tracking Argentine domains). Meaning that it’s still unclear why Google's domain was released, but for some reason, for a few minutes at least, the golden domain was owned by another member of the public.

The key learning from these events is that managing a global domain portfolio is not an easy task, no matter the size of the organisation, but it is a task that must be done effectively due to the significant damage that one mistake can have. At Lexsynergy, we do the hard work for you ensuring your domain portfolio is managed well and that your domains are renewed on time.

If you would like more information regarding our domain management services reach out to us at Info@lexsynergy.com