google.com whois record

Google registrar sold google.com

After finding out this morning what happened (thanks to Franko Rados and Domagoj Delimar), I rushed over to the post, and read from the person in question that he was able to purchase the google.com domain name. First of all the title is somewhat misleading, and the comments prove that people misunderstood the situation.

Domain ownership

First, let’s explain how domain ownership is viewed and proved. Domain ownership check is done strictly via the WHOIS! And guess what, in the whois, we saw that Google was and is the owner of google.com. MarkMonitor handles their domains, and the DNS Admin from within Google Inc is responsible for the Google.com domain name. I can bet you that their domain name is locked for transfers, and it expires 2020-09-14. Those are the facts verified by our whois API. You can either register a domain that’s available or transfer a domain that’s registered. The person hasn’t started a transfer they “registered” a new domain. (so the Google’s registry webshop would lead him to believe).

google.com whois record

google.com whois record

So I can assure you there wasn’t any ownership change, and Google Inc. was and is the owner of google.com The domain name hasn’t expired (and even if it has expired, you would have seen some sort of MarkMonitor notification to contact them, and there would be domain related periods like redemption, deletion, etc. before a new owner could be in place).

What exactly happened?

Google recently started selling domain names. Obviously, there are several ways you can do that, but let’s stay on the topic. Google started its own domain registry, and they are selling the domain names. In order to do that, and this is the fun part for us at WhoAPI, you need to be able to check if a certain domain name is available for registration or not. Sometimes, for various reasons, that check can fail. Large and old domain registrars like Godaddy, Enom, Network Solutions obviously have the technology in place (including a failsafe) that prevents misleading information.

If the domain checker fails to get the right information on domain availability, the “webshop” widget (let’s call it that way), allows the user to purchase this available domain. To Google’s misfortune, the domain in question was google.com! So basically what happened was Google sold this falsely available domain, that’s google.com. Nobody knows if there were other domains also available at the moment, but it looks like google.com was!

For the sake of this explanation, let’s say that I have a domain registry, and had the same domain check error and displayed that google.com was available. You could have clicked “purchase” the transaction would go through, and you could see in our administration that you “own” google.com. But you wouldn’t take it seriously because we are not Google. But when Google makes this mistake, everybody gets on their feet.

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