Google has confirmed that it will be shelling out big bucks for a number of generic top-level domains (gTLDs), though it did not specify exactly how many it wants to purchase.
We won't have to wait too long to find out, however. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) plans to unveil a list of applied-for domains on June 13.
In a Thursday blog post, Google's chief Internet evangelist, Vint Cerf, said that "by opening up more choices for Internet domain names, we hope people will find options for more diverse-and perhaps shorter-signposts in cyberspace."
At this point, there are 22 gTLDs, including .com, .org, and .net. In June, however, ICANN approved a plan that would allow people to apply for new gTLDs, like .pcmag, for example. ICANN started accepting gTLD applications via its TLD Application System (TAS) on Jan. 12, and after a glitch took the system offline for several days, the application process closed earlier this week.
Applicants must pay a $185,000 (£121,000) evaluation fee, with $5,000 (£3,300) upfront. This week, ICANN said it had received just over 1,900 applications.
Google said it submitted applications for new TLDs in four main categories: trademarks (.google); domains related to its core business (.docs); domains that will improve user experience (.youtube); and domains with potential (.lol).
After the full list of applied-for domains is revealed, there will be an "objection period", during which those with the grounds to do so can submit formal complaints. All applications will then be reviewed, and ideally, everything will be in order by year's end.
In an effort to "make the introduction of new generic TLDs a good experience for web users and site owners", Cerf pledged to make security and abuse prevention a high priority and work with all ICANN-accredited registrars and brand owners during the process.
In April, Google said it was generally interested in gTLDs, but provided no further details.