Today I was thinking of something interesting. The world’s largest internet search engine is deeply in love with domain names.
Google wants you to visit its website to find other websites based on your search keywords. Sometimes these results even include your website. Most people don’t even know that they are visiting a domain name when they visit Google or when they click a search listing link.
They should know they are hearing a domain name when you mention your brand's website name. It should be easy to remember, spell, and pronounce.
How much does Google love domain names?
They literally own thousands, or more likely tens of thousands of domain names directly related to their many business ventures, with most being .com, .net and .org domains. Google applied for 101 new gTLD (generic top level domain) domain names, literally to own them all. They spent $18.6 million just in application fees to do it. Source: ICANNWiki
New gTLD domain extensions like .app and .dev, for example, are owned by Google via subsidiary Charleston Road Registry Inc. Google paid $25 million dollars for the rights to own the .app gTLD alone. Every single domain name or word combination ending with .app you can think of requires payment to Google for you to own it. Registration fees, renewal fees, and any premium pricing they choose. According to NtldStats.com, Charleston Road Registry Inc. currently controls 46 new gTLD domain name extensions at the time of this article. (.app, .dev, .page, .how, .soy etc.). Over 400,000 .app domain names are currently registered.
- Google owns a domain registry (a registry is the owner of the .whatever TLD)
- Google owns a domain registrar (a retail offering to the public to register domain names)
Google likes gTLD domain names but loves .com domain names!
Great domains matter if you love and want to protect your brand! It’s what Google does and actually many, many other companies do it as well.
Part of X.company (that’s a gTLD domain name, owned by Google), Google starts tinkering with ideas and some of these actions result in full-blown companies over time. New ones, all the time.
Project Wing is one of those, an autonomous drone delivery service. They started out like many, with a “starter domain”. It made sense, was cheaper, but would require the “premium domain” for stardom. Google initially acquired Wing.co from its past owners to highlight this newly developing offering. Once Project Wing “graduated” from X.company, Google didn’t mess around and acquired the best domain name for the company, Wing.com! Wow, what a great domain name and brand name. How much did Google pay the past owner for the beach front virtual real estate property that stands out like the glaring sun? Maybe millions, they don’t have to share but they are not shy at all on acquiring the best domains, as they should. Great domain names are not cheap, they are one of a kind and becoming even rarer by the day. Google acquires premium domain names repeatedly and respectfully. Why? Domain names matter!
If you are branding as one thing, the patterns show that using the exact matching brand .com domain name is your best option. If it doesn’t, companies around the world are heavily investing to upgrade their main domain names so they do or even rebranding so they can.
Some more examples:
- Google launches a life sciences offering called Verily. It graduates X.company and you guessed it, they acquired the best domain name for the brand, Verily.com.
- Google notices a trend and acquires a category domain name, Wallet.com
- Google has Google Ventures and owns the premium, short, memorable GV.com domain name for it.
- Google starts a self-driving car offering which they call Waymo. They acquired Waymo.com from the past owner for an undisclosed amount.
- Google starts an internet connectivity project, Loon. They started with the domain name Loon.co and have recently acquired the best domain name for the brand/offering, Loon.com. They also recently acquired Loon.net to further its brand protection on the term.
Fact: Did you know that it took Tesla Inc. (formally Tesla Motors Inc.) 10 YEARS and $11 million dollars to acquire its best and non-restrictive brand domain name Tesla.com? Using TeslaMotors.com was restrictive for the brand as the company expand its offerings beyond cars.
Youtube is Youtube.com. Nest is at Nest.com. Android is at Android.com. Gmail is at Gmail.com. Blogger is at Blogger.com.
See a pattern? You should! Domain names matter!
Remember that patterns matter. Those who miss it, lose out, spend more later or simply don’t survive because they failed to see the pattern.
Here are 100 more examples of the pattern setters. Companies who purchased the best domain for their brands. Many in the list have done so recently, not 10 years ago, not even 5 years ago.
Domain names matter! Not just for tech companies but all companies around the world that wish to offer commerce on the internet. Yes, even if you only offer an "app"! Be consistent with your branding, love your brand and your domain name that is the face of your online presence. Domain names matter!