We’ve all been there: It’s nearly 2 in the morning and you’re cruising around the Internet looking for new domain names to purchase. I mean, talk about a cliched night, right?
Now imagine that during the course of your domain browsing, you unexpectedly discover that the holy grail of domain names — Google.com — is (gasp!) available for purchase for the low, low price of just $12. Testing fate, you attempt to initiate a transaction. Dare I say, you’re feeling a little bit lucky. And just like that, in the blink of an eye, the transaction goes through and the vaunted and highly valuable Google domain is in your possession.
While this might read like a ridiculous plot summary from some horrible piece of nerd fiction, this series of events above, believe it or not, actually happened to former Googler Sanmay Ved earlier this week.
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Detailing the entire experience on LinkedIn, Ved writes that he typed Google.com into Google Domains on a whim, primarily to check out what the site’s interface was all about. And surprise surprise, Google.com quickly appeared as a domain available for purchase. After adding the domain to his cart, Ved was successfully able to complete the purchase.
“I used to work at Google so I keep messing around with the product, Ved told Business Insider in a follow-up interview. “I type in Google.com and to my surprise it showed it as available. I thought it was some error, but I could actually complete check out.”
Not only was his credit card charged, but ownership, if only for a brief minute, was transferred over to Ved as well.
Additionally, my Google Search Console (aka Google Webmaster Tools) was auto-updated with webmaster related messages for the Google.com domain which actually means ownership was transferred to me!
Additionally, I started receiving notifications, for when ownership changed (along with new owner details etc.) in the Google Search Console for websites (I will not name them) that are powered by Google Sites (which makes sense given that websites powered by Google Sites rest on the master domain Google.com). Quite clearly, ownership had been granted to me. Order was successful.
So close to glory, Ved’s reign of power wasn’t meant to last. About a minute later, he received a cancellation notification via email. Ved notes that Google was able to cancel the order because it was acting as the domain registrar in this scenario, in stark contrast to when Microsoft in 2003 famously forgot to renew its hotmail.co.uk domain and lost it.
Oh, what could have been.