Google

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GoogleLogoNew.png
ICANNWiki Partner
Type: Publicly Held
Industry: Internet & Technology
Founded: 1998
Founder(s): Larry Page
Sergey Brin
Headquarters: 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, CA 94043
Country: USA
Employees: 20,000 [1]
Revenue: $ 29, 321 million as of 2009 [2]
Website: www.google.com
Blog: Google Blogspot
Facebook: Google Facebook
LinkedIn: Google
Twitter: TwitterIcon.png@google
Key People
Larry Page, CEO

Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman
Sergey Brin, Co-Founder
Jordyn Buchanan, Site Reliability Manager
Sarah Falvey, Policy Manager
Hal Bailey, Strategic Partnerships Director
Nikesh Arora, Senior VP and Chief Business Officer
Shona L. Brown, Senior VP Business Operations
David C. Drummond, Senior VP, Corporate Devt. & Chief Legal Officer
Alan Eustace, Senior VP, Engineering and Research
Patrick Pichette, Senior VP & Chief Financial Officer
Jonathan Rosenberg, Senior VP Product Management
Vinton Cerf, Internet Evangelist

Google is a multi-national company providing search, advertising, cloud computing services and many other business solutions. The company's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.[3] The company ranked 4th on Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2011.[4]

Company Background

In 1996, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, both Stanford University graduate students, partnered in building BackRub, a search engine that determined the importance of individual web pages. This search engine operated for more than a year at Stanford servers until it took too much bandwith to suit the university.[5]

In 1997, Page and Brin decided to change the name of the BackRub search engine, the two brainstormed and came up with Google -- a term derived from the mathematical term googol, which means the numeral 1 followed by 100 zeros.[6] The name reflects the founders objective, which is to organize an infinite amount of information on the web.

On September 4, 1998, Google was incorporated in California. The company started its business operations in a garage at Menlo Park. Craig Silverstein, was the first employee hired by Page and Brin, a fellow computer science graduate from Stanford. PC Magazine recognized Google as one of the Top 100 Web Sites for 1998.[7]

ICANN and Google

Google is an ICANN accredited registrar of seven top level domain names which include .com, .net, .org, .biz, .info, .name and .pro.[8]

One of the significant policies implemented by Google in 2008 is the introduction of a Domain Kiting Detection System, to stop the domain name registration abuses by profiteers known as domain tasting and domain kiting. The modus operandi of profiteers is taking advantage of the five-day Add Grace Period for domain tasting by checking and calculating how much a particular domain generates revenue from ads while parked at a monetization page. With regards to domain kiting, a registrant deletes a newly registered domain name before the grace period ends and immediately registers it again, to reset the grace period and postpone the registration payment.[9]

Google's announcement stirred concerns and debate within the internet community, prompting ICANN to immediately act; although the organization had been preparing a policy to deter the practices of domain tasting and domain kiting prior to Google's move . ICANN conducted a debate in the Spring of 2008 regarding the elimination of the AGP. Meanwhile, ICANN's At-Large Advisory Committee requested the board to investigate the practices to formulate a relevant policy to prevent the abusive practices of domain tasters and kiters.[10]

In June 2008, ICANN implemented a provisional policy (from July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2009) as a short-term solution in response to the internet community's concern regarding domain tasting. Under the policy, registrars will not be entitled to receive a $0.20 refund, for administration fees, if more than 10 percent of their registered domains were deleted. The policy was successful in dropping the number of deleted domains from 18 million to 2 million. After the provisional period ICANN adopted a tougher policy which required registrars to pay $6.75 for every excessive delete.[11]

Vinton Cerf Joins Google

Renowned DARPA scientist, Vinton Cerf, joined Google in September, 2005 as Vice-president and Chief Internet Evangelist;[12] Cerf co-designed the TCP/IP protocols that were used to develop the architecture of the internet and he is considered as one of the Fathers of Internet. [13]

As Google's VP and Chief Internet Evangelist, Cerf helped the company in building standards for next generation applications, network infrastructure, architectures, and systems.[14] He also served as one of Google's public figures in the Internet community worldwide. While working with Google, Cerf also continued his position as chairman of the board of ICANN, which began in 2000 and lasted until 2007.[15]

New gTLDs

It was confirmed in April, 2012, before the scheduled closure of the application period of ICANN's new gTLD program, that Google was applying for its own branded TLDs (i.e., .google, .youtube), and some other relevant generic terms. Their announcement created excitement that Google's search engine would add significant attention to new gTLDs, and anxiety that the very large player would walk away with some of the most sought after new extensions.[16]

On May 31, 2012, Google's Chief Internet Evangelist Vinton Cerf posted on Google's Official blog that the company submitted applications for new TLDs with the following categories: [17]

  • Google Trademarks (example: .google)
  • Domains related to Google's Core Business (example: .docs)
  • Domains that Improve User Experience (example: .youtube)
  • Domains that are interesting and has creative potential (example: .lol)

Vint also assured people that making new TLDs successful through security measure and abuse prevention as high priority, working with all ICANN-accredited registrars and with brand owners to develop sensible rights protection mechanisms built upon ICANN’s requirements.

In a related report, Ad Age Digital reported that Google applied for more than 50 TLDs. The information was revealed by a source within Google who is familiar with the company's application. [18]

Based on ICANN's List of New gTLD Applied-For Strings, Google applied for 101 new gTLDs through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Charleston Road Registry Inc.. The company spent more than $18.6 million in application fees. Google's primary competitor is Amazon, which filed for 21 similar domain name strings including .drive, .search and .play. Sarah Falvey, Senior Policy Analyst of Google is the main contact person in the application. [19] [20]

Three of Google's applications, .and, .are and .est, were for protected strings and cannot be implemented as New gTLDs given their status as the ISO 3166-1 alpha-3 country codes (for Andorra, United Arab Emirates, and Estonia respectively). It was later confirmed that Google withdrew these applications.[21]

In January of 2014, it was confirmed that Google's first domain registration for a New gTLD was جوجل.شبكة, which is a transliteration of "Google". It was registered during the Sunrise Period for the TLD .shabaka. [22]

Applications

Google's 101 originally applied for strings, separated by contested and non-contested, are:
.app, .baby, .blog, .book, .buy, .cloud, .corp, .cpa, .dds, .dev, .diy, .docs, .dog, .dot, .drive, .earth, .family, .film, .free, .fun, .fyi, .game, .gmbh, .goo, .home, .inc, .live, .llc, .llp, .lol, .love, .mail, .map, .mba, .med, .mom, .moto, .movie, .music, .pet, .phd, .play, .plus, .search, .shop, .show, .site, .spot, .srl, .store, .talk, .team, .tech, .tube, .vip, .web, .wow, .you

.ads, .and, .android, .are, .boo, .cal, .car, .channel, .chrome, .dad, .day, .dclk, .eat, .esq, .est, .fly, .foo, .gbiz, .gle, .gmail, .goog, .google, .guge, .hangout, .here, .how, .ing, .kid, .meme, .mov, .new,.nexus, .page, .prod, .prof, .rsvp, .soy, .tour, .youtube, .zip, .みんな, .グーグル, .谷歌[23]

Withdrawn Applications

Google applied for .and as a TLD for its Android services, and .are and .est as domain hacks that would allow domains such as "fast.est" and "dogs.are/cute". All three applications were withdrawn. They were immediately criticized as flying directly in the face of ICANN's applicant guidebook given that it clearly lays out that geographic and territory names on the ISO 3166-1 standard list are protected. AND is on that list as a designation of Andorra; EST is for Estonia; and ARE is reserved for the United Arab Emirates. Thus, it was quickly suggested that the applications would be rejected outright.[24][25] In September, 2012 it was noted that Google had withdrawn all three applications.[26]

Complaints Over Closed gTLDs

In September, 2012, an influential consumer advocacy group, Consumer Watchdog, sent a letter to U.S. Sen. Rockefeller, who is the chair of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. Sen. Rockefeller's senate subcommittee is the same that had held hearings regarding ICANN and its new gTLD program just before its launch. Consumer Watchdog is upset over both Google and Amazon's plans to acquire generic TLDs and then to restrict them only for their own use. The letter states: "If these applications are granted, large parts of the Internet would be privatized. It is one thing to own a domain associated with your brand, but it is a huge problem to take control of generic strings. Both Google and Amazon are already dominant players on the Internet. Allowing them further control by buying generic domain strings would threaten the free and open Internet that consumers rely upon. Consumer Watchdog urges you to do all that you can to thwart these outrageous efforts and ensure that the Internet continues its vibrant growth while serving the interests of all of its users." The whole letter can be seen here.[27]

This letter came just a day after a similar appeal by a group of domain industry regulars was announced. Michele Neylon, CEO of Blacknight Internet Solutions Ltd and a highly active member of the ICANN community, led the signatories of a letter adressing the same issue, though it does not name Google nor Amazon by name. Instead it focuses on any and all use of generic terms that are being sought after only to become closed TLDs: "generic words used in a generic way belong to all people. It is inherently in the public interest to allow access to generic new gTLDs to the whole of the Internet Community, e.g., .BLOG, .MUSIC, .CLOUD. Allowing everyone to register and use second level domain names of these powerful, generic TLDs is exactly what we envisioned the New gTLD Program would do. In contrast, to allow individual Registry Operators to segregate and close-off common words for which they do not possess intellectual property rights in effect allows them to circumvent nation-states’ entrenched legal processes for obtaining legitimate and recognized trademark protections." Other signatories include: Scott Pinzon, former Director of ICANN; Kelly Hardy, domain industry consultant; Frédéric Guillemaut, MailClub.fr; Robert Birkner, 1API GmbH; the whole letter can be seen here.

In mid-February 2013, it was announced that an applicant represented by industry lawyer Philip Corwin would be contacting and lobbying lawmakers in Washington and Brussels, or raising litigation, against Google. The applicant in question remains unknown though it is in contention with Google for at least one TLD. It is not in contention with Amazon, which has in fact applied for many more closed TLDs than Google. The issue at hand is the competition advantage that Google has given its search dominance and its ownership of sites such as youtube. Therefore, its applications for .film, .movie, .mov, .live, .show and .tube could all be used to create further market dominance within the online video and content streaming markets.[28]

In early March, 2013, Google announced via public comments ICANN held on the Closed Generic issue that it would no longer be seeking to close off any of its generic applications, and specifically noted the offending applications, .app, .blog, .cloud and .search. It noted that it planned to affect these changes through amendments to its applications.[29]

GAC Early Warnings

Google was warned by ICANN's Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC), regarding 4 of its applications, for .cloud, .app, .search, and .blog. All 4 warnings came from the Australian GAC representative, and GAC Chair, Heather Dryden. She issued the most warning of any representative, and warned every applicant that had applied for a generic term to be used exclusively by the applicant, arguing that this inhibits competition on the Internet and is not in the public's interest. All of Googles warnings were warned for this reason, and it was warned far fewer times than its major competitors, such as Amazon.[30][31]

Trade Association

During a special ICANN session held in January 2013 in Amsterdam, Google supported and facilitated a parallel working session outside of the ICANN meeting to discuss the possibility of creating a New gLTD Trade Association that could spread consumer awareness and provide business advocacy for New TLDs. The meeting was the first stage in creating such a body and preliminary discussions included funding sources, membership requirements, and universal TLD acceptance issues.[32] The meeting was reportedly "very well attended", and participants agreed that the trade association should focus on the Domain Industry as a whole rather than just New gTLDs. There were immediate questions of feasibility in creating a large enough entity with enough backing to launch its efforts prior to the implementation of the first New gTLDs.[33]

Change in Google's Search Algorithm

In May 2013, it appeared that Google was preparing for the new gTLD environment by updating its search algorithm in order to give weight in searches to ccTLDs. In the past, more weight has been given to the common .com and .org strings, among others.[34][35]

"Dotless" Domains Proposal

Google's application for the .search new gTLD includes a proposal for a "dotless" TLD, which has been with significant objection from Microsoft and other companies.[36] An excerpt from Google's application explains the proposal: "Charleston Road Registry will provide a service on the dotless search domain that will allow users to designate the search functionality of their choice and then perform queries that will automatically be redirected to the appropriate website. This facility should provide simple, consistent access to the userʹs preferred search functionality that does not exist today."[37]

Domain Name Association Membership

Google became a member of the Domain Name Association, an organization that promotes the domain name industry and includes Registrars and Registries as its members.[38]

Issues

.ie Disruptions

On October 9th, 2012, both Google and Yahoo! experienced prolonged disruptions in their services under the .ie country code top-level domain name (ccTLD). Technology.ie was the first party to report that Google's nameservers had experienced an "unauthorised change" that directed them to fraudulent nameservers in Indonesia.[39]

Though the Irish ccTLD registry, IEDR, initially stated that "an unauthorised change was made to two .ie domains on an independent registrar’s account which resulted in a change of DNS nameservers", on November 9th, it stated that a further investigation confirmed that "neither the Registrar of the affected domains nor its systems had any responsibility for this incident." The registry further said that hackers probed its system for 25 days before breaking in via a vulnerability in its Joomla content management system, which enabled the attackers to access back-end databases and upload malicious PHP scripts.[40]

Google & ITU

The United Nations' International Telecommunication Union is holding the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) in Dubai from December 3rd to December 14th, 2012. Government representatives from 178 nations around the world will be working to renegotiate the International Telecommunications Regulations (ITR), an information and communications treaty that outlines rules for how traffic should flow between telecom networks and how to calculate charges for traffic between different international carriers interfacing with one another. The treaty has not been updated since its signing in 1988.[41] Of the goals of the updated treaty, the ITU has said that it hopes to ensure "the free flow of information around the world, promoting affordable and equitable access for all and laying the foundation for ongoing innovation and market growth".[42]

One of the treaty's possible impacts includes a change in internet governance structures, from regulation under a U.S.-based group like ICANN to a more global organization.[43]

Google has been vocal about their opposition of ITU control of the internet and has launched a Take Action campaign in response. The Take Action website states, "A free and open world depends on a free and open Internet... But not all governments support the free and open internet.." They note that forty-two countries filter and censor content, and says of the December ITU meeting that, "Some of these governments are trying to use a closed-door meeting in December to regulate the internet... Proposed changes to the treaty could increase censorship and threaten innovation." Google's main criticisms of the ITU are that it is a "secretive" organization with confidential conferences and proposals, which are open only to governments and not to the general public. Google states that, "Internet policy should work like the Internet -- open and inclusive."[44]

Other opponents include the European Parliament[42] and the U.S. Government[45] Proponents may include the Russian government, according to a leaked file from WCITLeaks.[42][46]

First Investors

Andy Bechtolsheim, co-founder of Sun Microsystems, was Google's first investor in 1998, followed by Ram Shriram, former President of Junglee and current Managing Director at Sherpalo Ventures. On June 7, 1999, Google received a major equity funding of $25 million from Sequoia Capital and Kleiner Perkins; John Doerr and Michael Moritz joined the company's board of directors.[47]

Company Growth and Expansion

In 2000, Google was already available in different languages, including French, German, Italian, Swedish, Finnish, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Norwegian, Danish,[48] Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.[49] Google Adwords and the Google toolbar were launched with 350 customers. On June 11, 2000, the Google home page became the largest search engine, with 1 billion items.[50]

In 2001, Google was available in 26 languages. Eric Schmidt was appointed Chairman and Wayne Rosing was hired as VP for Engineering.[51] The following year, Schmidt was elected CEO while Page assumed the position of president for products and Brin became president for technology.[52]

The company also launched the Google Search Appliance, a new device that allowed corporations to use its search technology to scan their own networks;[53] Adwords Select, an enhanced version of Adwords was released, a self-service advertising system with the Cost-Per Click (CPC)feature, [54] the First Google API which enables developers to query more than 2 billion web documents and programs in their favorite environments, and the Google Labs.[55] The Google News and Froogle were also launched. Since then Google has released numerous products and services for Internet users and businesses worldwide.

Initial Public Offering

Google's Initial Public Offering (IPO) was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on April 29, 2004.[56] and offered 19.6 million shares at a price of $85 per share.[57]

International Offices

The company also opened international offices in Australia, India, Japan, Korea, Sao Paulo, Mexico City, Belgium, Denmark, Copehagen, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and many other countries around the world.

Google China

Dr. Kaifu Lee joined Google as head of the Chinese R&D Center. Microsoft filed a suit against Dr. Lee and Google, arguing that they violated the one year non-compete agreement on his contract with the company. [58] Microsoft and Google arrived at a settlement agreement over Dr. Lee's hiring in December of the same year.[59]

Google.cn, a local domain version of Google in China was launched in 2006 with some government restrictions. There, Google.com is down 10% most of the time, and Google news is never available. The Chinese government has been blocking and re-directing users searches to other websites.[60]

Partnerships

Google and AOL have been search partners since 2002. The partnership of the two companies has been reportedly extended until 2015; and their new advertising, content and search agreements have been expanded to include mobile searches and the placement of AOL's content on YouTube.[61]

In 2007, Google and China Mobile inked a partnership to provide mobile and internet search services in China[62] as well as with Sales Force combining the company's on-demand CRM applications with the Google AdWords to provide a more successful integrated sales and marketing for businesses.[63] They have also joined with IBM on an Academic Cluster Computing Initiative to inspire future computer scientists to think big and help them to learn to work on a global Internet scale, and on contemporary computing challenges.[64]

Community Services

On August 16, 2006, Google launched the free city wide WiFi in Mountainview, as its way to give back to the community.[65]

In 2008, Google.org announced its five key initiatives, Google Flu Trends, Google Powermeter, RE<C, Google Earth Engine and Google Crisis Response as part of the company's objective to help combat the many challenges in the world using the company's strength in information and technology.[66]

In March, 2011, Goggle gave $125 million to the Network Startup Resource Center, a project of the University of Oregon that helps deploy and build Internet infrastructure and ICT capabilities in under-served communities and countries throughout the world.[67]

Acquisitions

Google acquired numerous companies since since its establishment to present which include Deja Usenet, Blooger.com, Urchin, Writely, Android, JotSpot,which was later launched as Google Sites, Doubleclick, Aardvark, YouTube, Picnik, Admob, reCaptcha, Slide, ITA Software, and many others.[68]

Google Apps For Your Domain

In 2006, Google partnered with eNom, Inc., one of the largest ICANN accredited wholesale domain registrars, to the new domain registration services featured in "Google Apps for Your Domain",[69] a platform which enables any type of organization to offer powerful communication and collaboration tools with their users while being hosted by Google without maintenance, as well as hardware or software installation. Meanwhile, eNom will power private domain registration and identity protection for a $10 annual fee.[70]

Domaining

Google has been using its .co, g.co, as an internal link shortener. It apparently paid 7 figures for the domain, which it acquired in July, 2011. The first reported uses of the g.co shortener was for internal links within its Google Maps features; they hope the new space will assure customers of the safety and security of their links.[71]

However, it failed to pick up the g.co.uk extension in October, 2011. They were outbid by ANY-Web, a well-known domain speculator who bought a rumored 50,000 pounds worth of short .co.uk addresses.[72]

On August 17, 2011, Google submitted a UDRP request to the National Arbitration Forum over the domain goggle.com,[73] which is currently being used for cybersquatting purposes. On October 17th, the NAF announced that it would decline to consider the case. According to goggle.com registrant David Csumrik, represented by Zak Muscovitch, the domain's previous owners had existed in a co-existence relationship contract with Google, which enabled the owners to operate the domain without fear of litigation from Google, and that this right may have been passed down to him upon purchase of the domain.[74]

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