Google Wants Web Addresses That End in .Lol

Photograph by Bernd Jonkmanns/laif/Redux

Before Google applied for the .Lol domain, PepsiCo used the popular text-message shorthand in a 2009 billboard.

This is not a joke: Google intends to purchase the .Lol Web domain, Vint Cerf, an executive evangelist for Google, wrote on the company’s blog.

So instead of going to Google.com, you might be able to type Google.lol and get, say, a search engine for cat videos. Perhaps Google wants to open a corner of the Web dedicated to humor sites. Cerf did not specify how it plans to use .Lol, only that the domain has “interesting and creative potential.” (In case you’re new here, Lol is Internet speak for “laugh out loud.”) Google has also applied for .Google, .Docs and .YouTube.

Many Web companies have applied to the Internet governing body with plans to implement new types of domains beyond the usual .com, .org and .net, and the list of domains will be published on June 13. This isn’t like registering a .com with GoDaddy for $13 a year. The initial fees for applying for a so-called top-level domain are $185,000.

Beyond that, a company running just a few websites on a domain can expect to spend about $2 million by the end of the standard 10-year contract, said FairWinds Partners’ Phil Lodico, who consults businesses on operating Web domains. If .Lol takes off, Google may end up paying more than $1 million each year to run it, Lodico said. And that’s no laughing matter.

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