The search company has applied for a string of top level domain names (TLDs), which allow website owners to pay to replace the traditional “.com” or “” with their own brand names or other words.

Some of the domain names Google has applied for include “.google”, domains related its core business like “.docs” and those it feels will improve user experience by making it easier to discover content, such as “.youtube”.

Vint Cerf, Google’s chief internet evangelist, says “.lol” has “interesting and creative potential”.

In total, Google has applied for 50 TLDs at an application cost of $185,000 each. If all are accepted, the applications would reach a combined cost of more than $9m, not including extra fees.

Cerf says: “We’re just beginning to explore this potential source of innovation on the web, and we are curious to see how these proposed new TLDs will fare in the existing TLD environment.

“By opening up more choices for Internet domain names, we hope people will find options for more diverse – and perhaps shorter – signposts in cyberspace.”

ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) announced a programme in 2008 to expand the number of domain names available to companies to increase the amount of domain space on the web.

Applications for the new TLDs closed yesterday (31 May) and the initiative is expected to create up to 1,000 more domain names per year.
ICANN will release the full list of applicants of 13 June.