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Monday, June 4, 2012

Google wants .google, .youtube domain names

Google, owner of the world's largest search engine, also applied for other suffixes such as .docs and .lol under the program run by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the nonprofit organization that manages the Internet's address system.

The company is applying for domains that reflect its trademarks, relate to its core business, or will improve user experience, Vint Cerf, Google's chief Internet evangelist, said in a post on the company's blog Thursday. The .youtube domain could make it easier to identify channels and genres on Google's YouTube video-sharing website, Cerf said. The .lol domain, mimicking the text-message shorthand for "laugh out loud," has interesting and creative potential, he said.

"We're just beginning to explore this potential source of innovation on the Web," Cerf said. "By opening up more choices for Internet domain names, we hope people will find options for more diverse - and perhaps shorter - signposts in cyberspace."

With its announcement, Google becomes one of the first large companies to publicly state an interest in the top-level domain program, which is opposed by more than 40 companies including General Electric and Coca-Cola that say it will increase their costs, confuse consumers, and spark Internet fraud.

ICANN, which operates under a U.S. Commerce Department contract, approved the domain expansion last year in a move to spur online innovation.

The group accepted applications this year for new words to the right of the dot in a Web address, including company and city names. The application process was interrupted by a technical malfunction that closed the system for more than a month, and ICANN closed the application period Wednesday.

ICANN, which has said the expansion could result in thousands of new Web suffixes, plans to publish the list of applied-for domains on June 13.

Google will make security and abuse protection a high priority with its new top-level domains, and will work with brand owners on protection mechanisms, Cerf said.

The Federal Trade Commission said in December that the plan may increase opportunities for Internet fraud and called on ICANN to reduce the number of domains created.
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