Google is the world’s biggest search engine and it has got its own country-specific domains for almost every nation. Argentina is no different and one would think the Alphabet-owned search giant would make its ‘.ar’ domain exclusive for all purposes. However, that wasn’t the case for a few minutes yesterday.
On Wednesday, an individual managed to buy Google’s Argentina domain name without having to put up with any hassles at all. Wondering how it happened?
The Google Argentina domain was bought by Nicolas Kurona, a 30-year-old web designer. After making the purchase, Kurona took to the popular microblogging platform Twitter to talk about it, wherein he posted an image of his newly-owned fancy new domain name.
He also redirected the domain to his personal website, leaving millions of internet users in the country wondering about the downtime.
Soon after, the tweet started gathering a massive amount of reactions from the entire Twitterati while Google Argentia was down for two hours in the country on Wednesday night.
Kurona later mentioned that he was surprisingly able to buy the Google.com.ar domain via a normal legal process that didn’t involve any premium brokerage fee or other additional steps.
According to the 30-year-old designer, who is from the outskirts of Bueno Aire, he was designing a website for a client on Wednesday night when he got to know about the domain’s availability from a few WhatsApp messages.
That is when Kurona decided to check it out for himself. In an interaction with BBC, he said that he entered ‘www.google.com.ar’ into his browser but it didn’t work. As a result, he felt he needed to investigate it further.
Kurona then went on to try and buy the Google Argentina domain. He looked for the domain name on the Network Information Center Argentina (NIC). NIC is the body responsible for operating all country code domains for Argentina ending with ‘.ar’.
To his surprise, Google Argentina’s domain was indeed up for sale and Kurona went ahead and bought the domain name for a mere amount of 270 pesos or ₹ 415.
He told BCC that the learning left him frozen and shocked as he never imagined the transaction to go through. So, in order to check its authenticity, he typed www.google.com.ar on his search bar and hit enter to find that his registration data appeared on the site.
Google Argentina also confirmed the same. The search giant told BBC that the domain was indeed acquired by someone else however they regained control of it very quickly.
Unfortunately for Kurona, he didn’t get a refund of 270 pesos from NIC when Google took the domain away from him.
As for what caused this incident to happen in the first place, we don’t yet know for sure. Speculations suggest that the domain name had expired but Google said that wasn’t the case.
Interestingly, this is not the first incident when Google forgot to renew its domain name. Back in 2016, an ex-Googler Sanjay Ved was able to purchase ‘www.google.com’ for a mere $12 dollars and owned it for an entire minute before the Alphabet-owned search giant cancelled the sale.
Considering the number of domains Alphabet owns and to have better control over them, Google has registered itself as Registrar and doesn’t depend on any other domain registrar to avoid any kind of technical problem. However, such incidents reveal that despite all such measures keeping a tap on the renewal date of each and every domain name that belongs to Google is proving to be a difficult task for the world’s biggest internet company.