ICANN Ruling Denies Google Dotless Search Domains
Google’s dream of owning a top level dotless search domain has turned into a nightmare. The gigantic search engine wanted ownership of an “http://search” dotless domain. But this has come up against the stringent restrictions of ICANN.
A dotless top level domain name would resolve without a dot. For example, while something.example will resolve in most browsers, http://example will not.
Google had hoped to use “search” as a dotless domain name. But recent security reports reconfirmed some of the security and stability risks of dotless domains.
There was already a prohibition on dotless domain names in the applicant guidebook for new TLDs. The guidebook requires new TLD operators to get ICANN’s blessing to operate a dotless domain.
Google needn’t give up entirely on all its plans. There’s still the possibility that it may end up owning the .search generic top-level domain (gTLD), even if it’s not allowed to operate it as a dotless domain.
As The Verge reports, the dotless domain rejection isn’t much of a surprise given ICANN’s hesitance to change the status quo. While the organization has said nearly 2,000 new domain names could be on the way, it has introduced new domains relatively slowly. The biggest changes ICANN has introduced this year came in July, when the group activated four generic top-level domains: .???? (Arabic for “web”), .?? (Chinese for “game”), .?????? (Russian for “online”), and .???? (Russian for “web site”).