Google surprised everybody this past week by announcing it plans to restructure its business and fold itself into a holding company known as Alphabet, hosted at the url "Abc.xyz." What surprised some observers even more, however, was the new company's use of the .xyz domain, rather than the old .com mainstay.
The .com domain suffix has long been considered the gold standard of gTLD's (generic top-level domains, the term used for whatever follows the dot in the URL of a website). Although gTLD's such as .net and .org have become more widespread and accepted, the cache of a .com website inspires many companies and individuals to pay top dollar for the rights to it.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is the nonprofit group that regulates gTLDs and has released numerous new ones in the past two years, among them .xyz, which has been marketed by its owner as a next generation, cutting edge gTLD.
In fact, over 700 gTLDs have already been approved by ICANN, with an application for a new one costing a whopping $185,000 just to submit. Bidding wars over hot gTLDs have sent the price for some popular ones into the millions. On the other hand, some gTLDs such as. pizza and .ninja have been criticized as too niche for ICANN to have ultimately validated their approval.
Before the Google announcement, .xyz already topped the list ranking the most popular new gTLDs eclipsing other entries such as .party and .science. Now that Google has given .xyz its stamp of acceptance, it looks like a slew of other companies and individuals are hopping on board. Daniel Negari, who owns the .xyz gTLD along with eight others, including .college, .rent and .security, stated that after Google's announcement, the number of daily requests for URLS with the suffix jumped from 3,000 to 10,000.
"Obviously, Google believes in it if they're rebranding on .xyz. This is the ultimate validation," Negari said.