ICANN officially kills Google’s plan for dotless Search top level domain name
Board resolution quashes dotless domains again, at least for now.
ICANN’s New gTLD Program Committee has passed a resolution confirming a prohibition on so-called dotless domain names, effectively killing Google’s plans for a dotless .search top level domain name.
A dotless top level domain name would resolve without a dot. For example, while something.example will resolve in most browsers, http://example will not.
Google had hoped to use “search” as a dotless domain name. But recent security reports (pdf) reconfirmed some of the security and stability risks of dotless domains.
There was already a prohibition on dotless domain names in the applicant guidebook for new TLDs. The guidebook requires new TLD operators to get ICANN’s blessing to operate a dotless domain.
The committee’s resolution reconfirms that dotless domains are prohibited. That’s the safe approach. But once people become more comfortable with hundreds of new top level domain names in general, and if other security concerns end up being non-issues, I wouldn’t be surprised if this topic is revisited.