Google have just purchased the alphabet.
Not literally of course (if that’s even possible), but it has acquired the domain name abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz.com, just a few days after Google officially became a subsidiary of Alphabet, its new holding company.
The domain was created in 1999 and was updated on Wednesday when Google took control of it, according to domain database Whois. It is unclear how much it was bought for.
Google announced its restructuring in August in a bid to separate its core businesses such as search and Android from its “moonshots” like driverless cars. At the time, Google unveiled its website with a URL of abc.xyz.
The purpose of the new domain is unclear given that the page did not load on Thursday morning.
“We realized we missed a few letters in abc.xyz, so we’re just being thorough,” a spokesman for the company told media.
Google owns 18,095 other domains, data on Whois shows. It’s the owner of Googl.com and Gogle.com, so if people misspell Google, they will still be redirected to the search engine.
Sometimes, companies will make defensive acquisitions of user names in order to prevent them being embarrassed in the future. The U.S. tech giant owns the domains GoogleSucks.com.
“We realized we missed a few letters in abc.xyz, so we’re just being thorough,” an Alphabet spokesman said. Alphabet declined to say how it plans to use the domain name.
Wednesday evening, the page did not load. Companies often buy related domains for many reasons. For convenience, in case people misspell Google when they’re trying to reach the search engine, Alphabet owns Googl.com and Gogle.com and forwards them to Google.com. (Just try spelling its new domain without any typos.)
The change to Alphabet has caused Google some headaches when it comes to domain names. It does not actually own alphabet.com because it’s currently owned by German carmaker BMW. A report in the New York Times earlier this year suggested that BMW does not want to sell it.