Google wants the .lol domain name. Yes, really

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icann haz domain name lolcat

Haha. Sorry, but it seems that Google thinks that .lol has “interesting and creative potential” — which is why the search giant has applied to have the domain registered with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

In a blog post, Vincent Cerf (‘father of the internet’ and Google’s chief internet evangelist) said that the company had applied for a number of new domains — including .google, .youtube and .docs — as part of ICANN’s open call for suggestions for new generic top-level domains (GTLDs).

Previously, if you wanted to buy a domain name, you could only choose from a (pretty boring) list of just under two dozen options — including .com, .org and .net. In a bid to diversify GTLDs, ICANN started accepting applications (at around US$ 185 000 each) for new GTLDs in 2008. They received over 1900 applications before the 30 May 2012 deadline.

Cerf didn’t specify all of the domains Google has applied for, but he did say that they had applied for domain names in four main categories:

  1. Trademarks (like .google)
  2. Domains related to core business (like .docs)
  3. Domains that “will improve user experience, such as .youtube, which can increase the ease with which YouTube channels and genres can be identified”
  4. Domains that have “interesting and creative potential” (like .lol)

Curious to see what other .somethings have been applied for? ICANN will release the full list on 13 June this year, but we’ll only know if .lol will become Google’s latest plaything after the application review process has ended in early 2013.

Image: Doug Woods

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