Google and the 101 Domain Names

The other day I came across this article about Google’s applications for new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs). Now, all of these gTLD names are applied for by the company “Charleston Road Registry Inc.,” but it is wholly owned by Google.  Ergo, these are Google’s applications.

The article focuses on the .dev domain, which is used to indicate something that is in development. The domain that Google applied for was intended to be a “closed” domain, in which it was to be “for the sole use of Google.” It appears that Google has applied for 101 domain names. Some of those were for the “closed” domains like .dev, and the rest varied from limited to only Google to ones available to the public.

I dove in and looked around.  After reading through, OK skimming through, all 101 applications, I decided to divide up the domain names that Google applied for into 7 access categories across 3 sections:

The Restricted Section:
Closed
These are the gTLD names that are intended for use by Google only for Google-owned and controlled sites.

Sole Registrar
These gTLD names are reserved for use “with Google as the sole registrar and registrant.” This would be for sites that are related to Google services but the content is controlled, at least in part, by non-Google personnel. This would include items like .drive for Google Drive content, or .youtube for YouTube users.

The Ones you have to be a member of something to get
Specific
The gTLD names in this group are intended to be used by/for specific groups. This includes named groups like the “Open Handset Alliance” or specific businesses that include “copyright holders and authorized distributors” of content like .book, .film, .movie, and .music.

Educational
This is a special category which is intended for educational institutions/entities.

Limited
These are limited to specific types of businesses by type of business or business function.

Eh, sure you can have it
Focused
The gTLD names in this category are for sites that are focused on certain types of content, e.g.: .car for cars, .family for family friendly content.

Public
These gTLD names are pretty much open to any site that would cover the topic/category intended by the gTLD name. However, these are usually wide ranging enough to allow anyone to registrar for these gTLD names.

So, how does Google’s gTLD applications stack up?

14 were closed, and 13 were sole registrar. 8 were set aside as specific, 2 as educational, and 9 as limited. 7 were in the focused category, with 48 being public.

This means that 27 would be fully controlled by Google. 19 would require membership in a specific group or other verification to receive the domain name. 7 would require the registrant to show the site met the criteria for the domain name. With the last 48 being open to any site.

There are a few oddities, including overlaps and strange choices. There is both an .inc and a .corp, both of which would apply to
incorporated businesses, but since businesses can’t swap them in their name, that would possibly cover that duplication. There is the .android domain which is for members of the Open Handset Alliance, but also an .and which would have been a closed domain just for Android-specific content. There were domains for “copyright holders and authorized distributors” for both .film and .movie. I guess the distinction would have been up to the company involved. There are the strange omissions from the closed or closed-like domains, like .docs and .cloud, at least given the other closed domains they requested. Finally, there is the .dot domain, which was argued as being commercially viable because it is “the pun of the phrase ‘second-level domain name dot dot.'” I kid you not.

You may have noticed that I swapped between present-tense and past-tense in the preceding paragraph. I did because some of those gTLD names have either been approved or are in the process of being approved, while others have been withdrawn.

Of the 27 gTLDs that would have been controlled by Google, 20 have either been delegated to Google, or are in the process of being delegated to them. 1 is up for auction, and 6 have been either withdrawn or Google “will not proceed” with them (I am calling these W/WNP). Of the 19 membership/group gTLDs, 4 have/are being delegated to Google, 6 are up for auction, another 6 are W/WNP, and the last 3 are either still be evaluated or are “on hold.” For the 55 that were focused or public, 20 have/are being delegated, 9 are up for auction, 20 are W/WNP, and the last 6 are either being evaluated or on hold.

Category Submitted Delegated Delegating In Auction W/WNP Eval On Hold
Closed 14 10 2 2
Sole Registrar 13 5 3 1 4
Specific 8 2 1 4 1
Educational 2 2
Limited 9 1 4 2 1 1
Focused 7 2 1 1 2 1
Public 48 16 1 8 18 3 2
Totals: 101 36 8 16 32 6 3

Are you wondering about the .dev domain, and it’s partner .prod? Well, those have both been approved and “delegated” to Google. So if you were hoping to have yourname.dev to show off that you are a developer, well you are out of luck.

Oh, and there was a .app for application developers, which is not one of the ones restricted to just Google, but they did buy it at auction for $25 million. I don’t know what that should signal, but we shall see.

If you want to see them all, including type, status, and a quick description for some of them, just click on Google-CRR_domains.xls.

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