Sanmay Ved, Ex-Googler was the lucky buyer of Google.com, even though it was for a minute
Ex-Googler Sanmay Ved was the lucky buyer of Google.com, if only for a minute.
Speaking to Business Insider, Ved said while he awake late in the night and looking through Google domains, which is Google’s website buying service, he noticed that Google.com was available for purchase at that time. He was surprised to see a green happy face indicating that it was available instead of a gray sad face which means that the domain has an owner.
So, how much did it cost him to buy the most-trafficked domain in the world? Well, only $12.
“I used to work at Google so I keep messing around with the product. I type in Google.com and to my surprise it showed it as available,” Ved told Business Insider. “I thought it was some error, but I could actually complete check out.”
Ved added it to his shopping cart and, to his surprise, the transaction went through. His Google Search Console dashboard that has a summary of his other websites was updated with messages for the Google.com domain owner instead of getting the usual “you bought a domain” emails from the company. Ved said that he also got emails with inside information, which he went ahead and reported to the Google’s security team.
He also said that “The scary part was I had access to the webmaster controls for a minute.” He then hurriedly took screenshots along the way and described the entire incident in a LinkedIn post.
However, his run of Google.com lasted only for a short time though. Cancelling the sale a minute later, Google Domains said that someone had already registered the site before Ved could, and refunded the $12 that he had paid for.
“So for one minute I had access,” Ved said. “At least I can now say I’m the man who owned Google.com for a minute.
Ved is unsure as to what occurred that let him purchase the site. The company simply might have failed to renew its domain name when the time came or it could have been a bug in Google Domains. A Google spokesperson said they are looking into the issue, but “aren’t currently noticing anything unusual.”
Google’s not the first to get into bizarre domain problems. Microsoft too in 2003 failed to renew its Hotmail.co.uk web address, as a result it was bought by someone else. In case of Google, it was able to buy it from Google itself and quickly cancel it; however, Microsoft had to request the buyer to give it back to them.
Even though Ved’s control over Google.com may have been short-lived, he’s still astonished that he actually ended up buying the site during his late night search. Before leaving his job to pursue his MBA, Ved worked for Google for five-and-a-half years and has been a huge fan of the company, which is proved by the picture of the Google Plus logo as his profile picture on Facebook.
Ved said “I can’t shake that feeling that I actually owned Google.com.”