Buying and selling domain names can be a lucrative business, and one man thought he had hit the jackpot when Google.com went up for sale.
While many speculate on domain names, buying up likely future brand names or popular phrases, Sanmay Ved was shocked to find that arguably the biggest domain name of them all was up for sale.
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Former Google employee briefly owns Google.com
Ved couldn’t quite believe that Google.com was up for sale for the measly sum of $12, but he thought he would try and make a purchase all the same. To his surprise, the transaction went through and he became owner of the domain.
The lucky former Google employee took to LinkedIn to recount his experience, telling readers how he tried to make the purchase after searching for the search engine giant on a whim.
“I used to work at Google so I keep messing around with the product, Ved told Business Insider. “I type in Google.com and to my surprise it showed it as available. I thought it was some error, but I could actually complete check out.”
Purchase cancelled by domain registrar Google
Even more surprising was the fact that the transaction was charged to his credit card, and ownership was officially transferred to him.
“Additionally, my Google Search Console (aka Google Webmaster Tools) was auto-updated with webmaster related messages for the Google.com domain which actually means ownership was transferred to me!” Ved continued.
However ownership was wrenched from his grasp after he received a cancellation notification via email around a minute later. Ved says that the company was able to cancel his purchase due to the fact that it was also the domain registrar. So close but yet so far.
Other notable domain-name hijackings include the web address for Microsoft’s Hotmail email service. In 2003 the company forgot to renew the hotmail.co.uk domain and ended up losing it to an enterprising individual.
Luckily for Microsoft the new private owner immediately offered to return the domain to the company. It is not known whether they demanded financial compensation in order to do so.