As many of you know Google applied for the .Google New gTLD and the application was accepted by ICANN as a .brand string. Google has since signed the registry contract with ICANN and the New gTLD has been activated.
ICANN New gTLD rules dictate that all registry operators should reserve 4 second level domain names: WWW, RDDS, WHOIS and NIC. All 4 domains must be withheld from being registered to any person (other than the Registry Operator) or third party.
The difference between NIC and the other 3 domains is that all registries must activate the “nic” domain name while the Registry Operator has the option of activating WWW, RDDS and WHOIS in the DNS or not.
In the .brand ‘New gTLD’ Google has selected to only activate the domain name nic.google that is used in connection with the operation of the registry for the TLD.
But while the domain name www.google has not been activated and does not resolve a lot of people are typing it in their browsers. Many people are probably forgetting to type .com at the end of the address while trying to access the popular search engine.
But it not too difficult to arrive at www.google even without making an actual typo. For example if I just type “www.google” on the address bar at Firefox the auto complete adds .com at the end of the address but also displays all the recent google searches below. I can choose to go back to one of my searches using the up and down arrows. But if I go back up to the top (at the address bar) the “.com” part from auto-complete has disappeared so if I just hit enter, as I usually do with auto-complete, I will end up at the domain name www.google and will get a “server not found” message.
The domain name www.google is already receiving a lot of traffic as its Alexa ranking shows. It has a 39,524 (3 month average) global ranking and it does not even resolve.
Domain Punch ranks www.google as the 20th New gTLD domain name in terms of traffic with a one month average Alexa ranking or 27,027 globally.
Alexa is somewhat inaccurate in many cases and probably more in this case where the domain name does not exist. But I estimate that www.google receives a few thousands visitors every day.
It is also worth mentioning that all traffic directed from regional Google homepages like www.google.co.uk or www.google.de will also arrive at the New gTLD domain name www.google if they forget to type the extension. So when Google activates the domain it should then probably redirect users according to their location and IP address because visitors may not be looking for google.com.
Google should quickly activate the domain name either to redirect users to its homepage or even better to a webpage informing people of New gTLD domain names. It could create awareness as to how all New gTLD domains work. The domain name www.google is probably the ultimate domain name as far as .Brand New gTLDs are concerned.