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Google aiming to buy dot-lol cyberland, and not just for the lulz of it

Vint Cerf sniffs potential creative innovation in gTLDs

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Google has revealed it is jockeying for a variety of top-level domains (TLDs) including .lol and .google.

The ad giant went public with its plans on Thursday after ICANN's deadline passed for applications for new web address extensions.

The search engine behemoth has applied for TLDs that include .youtube, .google and .lol, which have "interesting and creative potential" according to Google's chief internet evangelist Vint Cerf.

LOL is, we're afraid to point out*, the abbreviation for "laugh out loud" so, for example, Google might choose to use it for online comedy channels.

Web overseer ICANN, which opened the floodgates to new so-called generic TLDs, plans to reveal who applied for what TLD on 13 June. Any contested TLDs could end up in an auction, with the highest bidder claiming the dot-word.

Cerf explained that the TLDs that Google had applied for fell into four different categories: trademarks such as .google, domains related to the company's core biz like .docs, branded domains such as .youtube and the aforementioned TLDs that offer "creative potential".

"We’re just beginning to explore this potential source of innovation on the web, and we are curious to see how these proposed new TLDs will fare in the existing TLD environment," Cerf said.

"By opening up more choices for Internet domain names, we hope people will find options for more diverse - and perhaps shorter - signposts in cyberspace." ®

LOLnote

* Your reporter can't help but relay an unfortunate story about a friend-of-a-friend's misuse of LOL in a sympathy card. The sender wrote "I'm so sorry for your loss. LOL" without realising that LOL - in common parlance - DID NOT mean "lots of love". Oops.

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