Sanmay Ved, an ex-Google executive, luckily became the owner of 'Google.com' domain on Tuesday for just one minute. The executive said he was wandering inside the Google Domains page when he found the 'Google.com' domain as available to buy.
Interestingly, Ved was able to add the domain to his cart and was able to make the payment of $12 (roughly Rs. 790) to purchase the domain. "As soon as I completed purchase, I received two emails, one from firstname.lastname@example.org, and one from email@example.com, which is not the norm when you book domains via Google Domains as I have booked new, previously un-registered domains before, and I have never received emails from the above aliases on booking the domains," he said on his LinkedIn post. The domain showed up in his Google Domains history as well.
Furthermore, Ved's Google Webmaster Tools were also updated. "Additionally, I started receiving notifications, for when ownership changed (along with new owner details etc.) in the Google Search Console for websites (I will not name them) that are powered by Google Sites (which makes sense given that websites powered by Google Sites rest on the master domain Google.com). Quite clearly, ownership had been granted to me. Order was successful."
However, the Google Domains page was quick to spot the accidental change in ownership of the Google.com domain and sent Ved a domain cancellation email. The ex-Googler later got a $12 refund and the domain correctly showed the 'Unavailable' icon besides it.
"Google could do this given the registration service used by me (aka Google Domains) belonged to Google, unlike the 2003 event in which Microsoft forgot to renew their Hotmail UK domain which was registered with Nominet UK. As a result, the Hotmail UK domain was returned to the open market for pickup by anybody who fancied it. Somebody else picked it up, and as Microsoft wasn't the registrar themselves, Microsoft wasn't able to cancel the order, and take it back automatically. In my case, I don't know what caused Google to lose ownership of the domain Google.com as a result of which it was available in the open market," Ved added.
Ved said that he has reported the matter to Google Security team and they are working on it. The reason behind the accidental purchase of Google.com seems to be a bug.
"The Indian Prime Minister's visit did work wonders...it ended up convincing Google to sell the most visited domain on the internet to a person from the Kutch region of the Indian Prime Minister's home state...albeit just for a minute or so :)," Ved joked.