A former Google employee by the name of Sanmay Ved managed to become the new owner of Google.com for the bargain basement price of just $12.
On the 29th September, Mr Ved was idly browsing Google domains when he noticed that Google.com itself was available to buy.
While Ved initially thought his eyes were playing tricks him, it turned out that the world’s most heavily visited web domain was actually for sale.
Sure that there must have been some sort of mistake, Ved added Google.com to his shopping cart, finalised the checkout process, and then suddenly found himself the proud new owner of pretty much the entire internet.
“I thought it was some error,” Ved said in an interview days after the purchase, “but I could actually complete check out…I was hoping I would get an error at sometime saying transaction did not go through.”
But Ved did not receive the normal set of emails he expected to get after buying a web domain. Instead, his inbox and Google Search Console began filling up with highly sensitive information intended to be seen only by the people still working at Google.com.
Sanmay Ved’s ownership of the world’s biggest web brand however was short lived. Within a minute of owning Google.com he was sent an email that canceled his order and returned his $12 with the message “saying someone had registered the site before he could.”
But before this, and keenly aware that no one else in the world would believe him, (probably), Ved detailed his 60 second moment of glory by taking as many screenshots as he could of his short adventure of being the internet’s Overlord Supreme. He released the details of his minute long escapade in a LinkedIn post.
Ved, and probably the people in Google as well, had no idea why Google managed to somehow lose their own domain name, and have Google.com end up on the open market.
In any case afterward, Ved may get back to studying for the MBA he left Google to study for, but it may take a while for his feet to come back down to Earth again. As he says in his own words:
“I can’t shake that feeling that I actually owned Google.com.”