Fresh from an embarrassing glitch in its system that saw an ex-employee seemingly register Google.com, the search giant is now selling domain names with 90 top-level domains to choose from – such as .business, .world and .gripe.
What is missing from that list, however, are any of the 40+ top-level domains that Google owns and is keeping for itself, for now.
Google Domains lets you purchase domains as well as add on the company's various services, including email, calendar, remote storage, and so on.
The service has been in beta for roughly a year with a relatively small set of top-level domains. On Tuesday, it expanded that list to include more than 90 new dot-words belonging to the world's largest registry of names, Donuts.
Donuts made the most of the news, putting out a press release that intriguingly featured a quote from a blog post from Google's CIO Ben Fried that doesn't appear to exist (update: you can now find it here).
Regardless, you can now purchase web addresses ending in .energy or .voyage and for $5 a month, integrate them with Google Apps for Work. Of course many other registrars offer the same service and a lot more.
What is missing from the "news," however, is any mention of what Google is planning to do with the long list of top-level domains that it paid $185,000 a piece to get hold of. Not mentioning the $25m it paid to get hold of .app.
The extension .app actually exists in the internet's root as we speak, but Google still has not revealed what it intends to do with it.
Google has over 40 generic top-level domains, some of which it plans to run as open extensions – so anyone can register names under them – and some that it plans to tightly control. The only Google-owned domains that you can currently register are .how, and for some reason Google is only selling them through third parties.
Those odd words in full
The generic top-level domains it owns include: gle, prod, cal, docs, soy, how, drive, dev, ads, map, mov, channel, boo, dad, new, eat, ing, meme, phd, here, zip, guge, foo, day, fly, gbiz, rsvp, search, page, dclk, prof, and esq.
And on top of them it owns the brand names: Chrome, YouTube, Gmail, Google, Nexus, Android, Goog, Hangout, Play, and Moto.
When Google first announced its plan to both run top-level domains and sell domains, it stunned the domain name industry, caused a drop in others' share prices, and even delayed an IPO by GoDaddy.
But the search company's big dreams – pushed by founder Larry Page – were quickly pulled back by the suits, and the company let more than 40 extensions that it had applied for go by the wayside.
Many originally thought that Google might disrupt the domain name market by giving away domains for free in much the same way it revolutionized the online email service by providing a huge amount of free storage for its Gmail service.
It is possible with the creation of Alphabet as the parent company of Google, giving Page and co-founder Sergey Brin much more leeway to experiment, those early plans will be dusted off and put back into play.
For the meantime however, Google is playing it straight and trying to learn how to be a registrar. The apparent registration of Google.com last week is clear sign that even the world's richest internet company still has to learn how to deal with glitches. ®