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What was Google thinking .com?

I stumbled across a great post on TechCrunch yesterday – an expose on Google’s astounding domain name portfolio that contains the obvious, the shrewd, the clever, and the downright baffling terms.

The analysis conducted by uptime monitoring service Pingdom exposed some very strange registrations for Google. Now before we go any further, it’s important to acknowledge that it’s not unusual for a major corporation to have in excess of 1,500 domain names on its books at any one time – sure only 20 per cent of them are being used to market and the rest are a combination of defensive registrations and protection for future or past products and services.

But, in my opinion, if you’re so bad with a keyboard that you type geggle.com, glougle.com or glogoo.com when you’re trying to get to Google – you don’t deserve to find the right site. But somebody advising Google told them it was a good idea. Probably as good an idea as it was to make sure nobody else got their hands on goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooogle.com.

There were some worrying things in there too – Google is the overwhelming favourite search engine but googlereligion.com? Beyond the obvious product and service domains you’d expect Google to register, you have to wonder what googleporn.com, googlesex.com and google-yahoo-porn.com are intended for. I know that the adult industry was one of very few that continued to flurish during after the dot-com bubble burst, but surely that will never be a revenue stream for Google, even in today’s economic climate?! 

Looking through the full list from Pingdom one thing is clear – a lot of Google’s domain name strategy belongs on googlejokes.com. The whole thing reminds me a bit of the time Microsoft tried to sue a 17-year-old schoolkid called Mike Rowe for having registered MikeRoweSoft.com… I suggest Google puts in a call to a real domain expert like Jonathan Robinson at NetNames to make sure they’re protected without going domain crazy. 

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