Google’s .search top level domain name application survives objections

Two objections against .search domain name fail.

GoogleGoogle’s bid to run the .search top level domain name has survived community objections brought by competition groups.

The objections were brought by FairSearch and Initiative for a Competitive Online Marketplace, both organizations made up of Google competitors.

This is FairSearch’s third failed objection against Google. It also objected to .fly and .map.

The panelist in both .search objections granted that both objectors had standing, and even agreed that “search” is a community.

The community discussion was rather interesting. Panelist Erik Schafer said he was basing his decision on what a community is based primarily on “Implementation Guideline P, Annex C to ICANN GNSO Final Report, Introduction of new Generic Top-Level Domains, 8 August 2007.” That’s five years before applications were due and well before the Applicant Guidebook was created!

The objections failed because the objectors were not able to show a likelihood of material detriment to the community from Google being delegated the domain names.

FairSearch certainly made some stretched arguments in its case. This one is my favorite:

Objector also contends that ceding the TLD ‘.search’ to Applicant alone would create confusion, leading consumers to believe Applicant has been endorsed as the chief, or even worse, the sold provider of Internet search services.

Endorsed by whom? The Internet gods?

Google still faces competition, including by, for getting the .search domain.


  1. says

    “The panelist in both .search objections granted that both objectors had standing, and even agreed that “search” is a community.”

    Fascinating that “Search” community gets standing but music Objector (whose members win 50% of globally-recognized Grammys) versus Amazon does not get standing.

    This is interesting news given the EU settling with Google in its search-related anti-trust probe:

    I really do think it is a problem if Google runs .SEARCH though. Smart move by Google, especially if ICANN allows both them and Amazon to walk over this new gTLD Program and dominate with their “deep” pockets in auctions.

  2. Chris says

    If governments around the world will not stop the incredible STEAL of freedom that would come from permitting google to run generic TLDs, than smart people will stop them, boicotting google’s new TLDs and also too much aggressive company like amazon and others.

    Smart people and entrepreneurs will start immediately, avoiding registering domains in new generic TLDs run by those companies.

  3. Peter Bradford says

    Of course Google gets to walk in with deep pockets. Look at how they will get .web, a TLD that was proposed by a small company in 1994 who played by all the ICANN rules, only to have it taken from them in this round by those deep pockets.

    Legalized theft.

  4. says

    At the moment, I can’t quite put my finger on Google’s practical intentions regarding .search. Perhaps it’s an empty gesture of dominance — a thumbing one’s nose at rivals, rather like the earlier case of .persiangulf, which seems to exist purely for political posturing. That seems unlikely, though. Perhaps Google simply figures it can figure out where it’s taking .search once it gets there. In the meantime, the cost to the behemoth is negligible.

    Will they implement .search? How?

    One thing’s for sure, any implementation of .search or .web or .fly or .map will redirect more consumer search queries away from neutral information and toward Google-controlled advertising.

    Antitrust regulations are useless given the influence of lobbyists these days.

    • says

      Google has filed somewhat detailed plans for what it wants to do with the domain, although I’m not sure how it will change since it can’t be dotless.

      With many of these large companies, I think you hit on the nail on the head: “Perhaps Google simply figures it can figure out where it’s taking .search once it gets there”

  5. Thomas says

    “Endorsed by whom? The Internet gods?”

    No, by an uninformed public. This is why I don’t visit these domaining sites often, 3/4ths seem to be ran by morons.

Leave a Reply