To my surprise, Google.com was showing as available!
Now imagine that during the course of your domain browsing, you unexpectedly discover that the holy grail of domain names – Google.com – is (gasp!) available for purchase for the low, low price of just $12.
Ved, who used to work at Google, entered his billing details and his credit card was charged.
Ved added it to his shopping cart and, surprisingly, the transaction went through. He was also given access to Google Webmaster Tools, which he found scary, because it contained sensitive information that should only be accessed by Google webmasters, global Business Times reported.
Based on the slew of screenshots Ved has published to his LinkedIn blog post, and the descriptions he gives of his experience, it does indeed sound like he had managed to procure Google.com. Google.com was now in his ownership. He says Google acknowledged the error to him-the company has not yet responded to a Motherboard request for comment.
While this might read like a ridiculous plot summary from a few frightful piece of nerd fiction, this series of events above, believe it or not, actually happened to former Googler Sanmay Ved earlier this week. It’s possible that Google didn’t automatically renew its domain, but it seems more likely that a bug in the system let Ved register the domain.
A Google representative told Business Insider that they were looking into the issue, but aren’t noticing anything unusual at the moment.
This isn’t the first time Google has faced such domain-related problem. As a result, the Hotmail United Kingdom 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.
Even though Ved’s control over Google.com may have been short-lived, he’s still astonished that he actually ended up buying the site during his late night search.
Ved is now an MBA student at Babson College, outside of Boston, but he previously worked for Google from 2007-2012 according to his LinkedIn profile.