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Google Puts G.CO in Spotlight During March Madness

If you are watching the men’s NCAA basketball tournament (aka March Madness), you may have spotted a Google Cloud television commercial that highlights the company’s G.CO domain name. MarkMonitor VP Statton Hammock took a photo of his television to catch the tail end of Google’s television spot with the url:

Buying Stadia (or Other New TM) Domains Makes No Sense to Me

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:

Stadia.com Acquired Before Google Announcement (Updated)

I saw a tweet from Techmeme with news about Google’s new game stream service called Stadia, which made me wonder if Google had acquired the brand match Stadia.com domain name in advance of the news:

.Dev Passes 100,000 Registrations

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 Acquires Loon.com

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:

Wing.com Acquired by X, Google’s “Moonshot Factory”

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:

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.

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