Last month, Google told Ad Age that it was poised to go on a web-domain buying spree. Today, the company announced in a blog post some of the specific top-level domains it is applying for and the general categories they fall into.
Among the top-level domains (the part of a web address to the right of the dot) Google is applying for are ".google," ".docs,." ".youtube," and ".lol", the blog post said. The company applied for more than 50 top-level domains in total, according to a person close to the situation. Each application carries an $185,000 application fee.
The top-level-domain-application window closed yesterday, a month-and-a-half after the original close date -- ICANN shut down the process for several weeks following an acknowledgement that certain applicants might have been able to see the file names of other applicants' applications. It was another blow to ICANN's credibility, whose process for the rollout of new internet infrastructure has been attacked by trade associations, including the Association of National Advertisers.
ICANN said it received more than 1,900 applications, which would bring in an estimated $350 million in application fees. In its blog post, Google lumps .YouTube into a category of domains meant to "improve user experience."
As for .YouTube, the post says the domain "can increase the ease with which YouTube channels and genres can be identified." Improving content discovery on YouTube is more important than ever for Google considering the millions of dollars YouTube is pouring into original programming.
The example Google gave of domains it is seeking related to its core business was".docs," while ".google" was an example of trademark-related domains. On the other hand, ".lol" is part of a bundle of domain applications that Google thinks "have interesting and creative potential."
A Google spokesperson declined to provide more details on how the four domains would be used or which other top-level domains Google applied for.
ICANN says it will unveil all of the applications June 13. It's not clear when these domains will hit the web. A batch of 500 applications will be looked at first, and it's possible some of those accepted domains could start rolling out next year.