This week, Google announced a new gaming platform called Stadia. As I observed shortly after the news was announced, Google smartly acquired the brand match Stadia.com domain name in advance of the announcement. I did not notice other Stadia-related domain names registered by Google at the time I wrote my article, but the company appears to have registered many domain names in ccTLD and new gTLD extensions in the hours and days since. Ten of the Stadia domain names registered by Google (via DNStination Inc.) include:
According to nTLDStats.com, it looks like there are now more than 100,000 .Dev domain names registered. I can see more than 102,000 .Dev domain names in the zone file, and the number continues to grow.
The .Dev domain name extension is managed by Google, and .Dev domain names became available to register via the early access program on February 19. Since general availability phase began on February 28, the number of registrations has grown strongly. From what I can tell, it looks like there were about 5,000 domain names registered via the EAP, and in the last week and a half, over 95,000 domain names have been registered.
Google has privately (and quietly) acquired the Loon.com domain name. A current Whois record shows the domain name is now publicly registered to Google at MarkMonitor. The acquisition was reported by Jamie Zoch of DotWeekly, in a Twitter post earlier today:
Google acquires ultra premium #domain name Loon(.)com from long time owners Loon Systems for undisclosed amount. This is very likely for Project Loon, which is currently using Loon(.)co. Amazing domain, lots of $$! #google #loon #internet #asset pic.twitter.com/vnLkRRvhc8
— Jamie Zoch (@yofie) January 30, 2019
In late July, I noticed a couple of interesting changes related to the Wing.com domain name. Those changes were noted in a tweet I sent out:
Looks like https://t.co/f8K7m9rYXc may have been sold. Google’s Moonshot Company has a startup called Wing https://t.co/70jE7NnkKW. The Wing .com domain name is now registered under privacy at @markmonitor. Landing page sends visitors to a new domain name. I reached out to ask.
— Elliot Silver (@DInvesting) July 27, 2018
Wing.com had been owned by a company called Wing Inflatables. This Summer, I saw that the domain name transferred to MarkMonitor, a brand protection company and domain registrar used by many large companies. When someone visited Wing.com, they reached a temporary landing page informing them that they were going to be forwarded to a different website (I believe it was InflatableSolutions.com).
When I saw this, I speculated that the domain name may have been acquired by X, a research and development company operated by Google’s parent company, Alphabet (colloquially referred to as “The Moonshot Factory”). Wing is an independent company that was incubated within X, and it would have made sense for X to have acquired the Wing.com domain name for this business.
At the time of my tweet, I reached out to Wing Inflatables to ask if the company sold Wing.com. I did not receive a response to my query.
A couple of days ago, I checked in on Wing.com, and I noticed that it is being used by X’s Wing. The domain name is now registered to DNStination, Inc., the privacy proxy service operated by MarkMonitor. It would appear that X did, in fact, acquire the Wing.com domain name. I reached out to Google’s Press office, but I did not hear back from the group yet (update – see below)
If I had to venture a guess, I would say that this was a mid to high six figure sale – and perhaps as high as seven figures. The former registrant had to change its web presence and marketing, including a change of email addresses. This is not easy nor without risk, so I presume this valuable domain name was quite expensive.
With Google’s willingness to use new gTLD domain names like ABC.xyz and X.Company, it is always interesting to see the company buy a domain name like Wing.com.
Update: I heard back from Google this afternoon, but the company has no comment about the domain name.
Over the Summer, Cnet published an article about how Google owns the Duck.com domain name. It was notable because of a popular upstart competitor in the Internet search space called DuckDuckGo. I am sure DuckDuckGo would have loved to own Duck.com, and from the looks of it, the company may have acquired Duck.com.
If you visit Duck.com right now, you will be forwarded to DuckDuckGo.com.
Over the weekend, Jamie Zoch first reported that Duck.com may have been sold to DuckDuckGo because it transferred to Namecheap and the nameserver records are the same as DuckDuckGo. I also saw the transfer in my DomainTools monitor email, and I sent an email to the Google press relations office as well as the Investor Relations team to ask if Google sold Duck.com. I have not received a response to my query, but I will follow up should I receive on.
Google acquired Duck.com when