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Gradient.com Bought by Founder of Google’s Gradient Ventures

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The Gradient.com domain name was sold in an expiry auction at GoDaddy Auctions last week. GoDaddy Aftermarket VP Paul Nicks told me that the $125,001 sale of Gradient.com set a GoDaddy Auctions record for the largest sale on its auction platform.

This morning, the Whois record updated, and the new registrant is listed as Anna Patterson. Although there is no organization listed in the Whois record, a Google search showed me that Patterson is the Founder and Managing Partner at Gradient Ventures. According to Crunchbase, "Gradient Ventures is Google’s new AI-focused venture fund - investing in and connecting early stage startups with Google’s resources, innovation, and technical leadership in artificial intelligence." Gradient Ventures was founded earlier this year. I presume the domain name acquisition was related on behalf of the venture fund, despite the Whois record bearing Patterson's name.

After the auction closed, some people expressed doubt about whether or not the sale would close. Because of the way GoDaddy Auctions → Read More


Happy Birthday Google.com Domain Name

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On September 15, 1997 - twenty years ago to the day - the Google.com domain name was first registered. It looks like Google.com was registered at Network Solutions, but interestingly, it is now registered at MarkMonitor. It is a bit surprising the company hasn't transferred it to Google Domains, the domain name registrar owned and operated by Google.

Here is a graphic with the current Whois record for Google.com provided by DomainTools:



If you want to see how the Google.com homepage looked over the years, you can have a look at Archive.org.

It's pretty neat to think that the hub of the entire Internet was created twenty years ago today. At just 20 years old, Google.com isn't even close to some of the oldest domain names in existence, which pre-date it by over a decade!

Someday, I bet you will see this question in a trivia game and you will know the answer to: "when was Google.com registered?" → Read More


Google Announces Hire; Not Using .Google TLD

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Google recently launched Hire, which is, according to TechCrunch, "a new service that helps businesses more effectively manage their internal recruiting process." After reading the headline on TechMeMe and clicking through to the TechCrunch article, I was very curious about the domain name that Google chose to use for this new service.

As I read through the article to learn about Hire, I wondered if Google had acquired the Hire.com domain name. I also thought that perhaps the company might use its Google-branded TLD for it - Hire.Google. Neither of those options were used by Google. Instead, the company is using Hire.Google.com for this new service.

It sort of makes sense that Google wouldn't go out and buy Hire.com. It looks like Hire.com is registered to a company called Authoria, Inc. Hire.com currently forwards to PeopleFluent.com, which appears to be how the entity rebranded in 2011. I am not sure if the registrant of Hire.com would sell Hire.com, but if the company was open to selling this domain name, my guess is that it → Read More


Google Announces Dandelion, Which Uses Dandelion.CO

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Google's parent company Alphabet runs a division called X. For X, the "mission is to invent and launch "moonshot" technologies that we hope could someday make the world a radically better place."  In an announcement made on its X.company blog, the launch of Dandelion was announced. According to the blog post, "Dandelion will offer geothermal heating and cooling systems to homeowners, starting in the northeastern United States."

From a domain name perspective, the announcement is interesting. Dandelion is using the Dandelion.CO domain name instead of a .com domain name. Dandelion.com is registered to someone in New York City, and it is unrelated to X's Dandelion.

NameBio shows that Dandelion.CO last sold in 2013 (more…) → Read More


Search Google Before Buying a Domain Name

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Most people do some sort of due diligence before buying a domain name. They want to make sure the domain name was not stolen and that it is being sold by its rightful owner before agreeing to buy it. There are several other things I look at when buying a domain name, and there are a variety of tools that I use to do this due diligence.

One of the easiest ways to do cursory due diligence is by using Google. I simply visit Google.com and type in the domain name. Obviously a Google search is free, and it pulls important information from a vast number of sources, many of which I may not even have considered looking at.

Some of the things I consider before buying a domain name, besides the provenance and ownership history of the domain name include: (more…) → Read More


Google’s John Mueller Responds to Question About Domain Age

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Before this morning, I was under the impression that Google uses the age of a domain name as one of the (many) ways it determines a website's position in its search results. I thought that developing a domain name that has been registered for many years could be helpful in getting a higher search engine ranking.

Apparently, I was mistaken in thinking this.

In a tweet on Wednesday, John Mueller, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, answered a question that was posed to him about domain age by another Twitter user:




Mueller provided a (more…) → Read More


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