Google must be busy these days. Reports conflict about whether a domain transfer of Google.de took place, or whether Google forgot to renew their German search engine. Regardless, someone was quite asleep at Google and the site was hijacked by the opportunist earlier today. The fellow’s name is Martin R. from Wiesbaden, Germany according to domain registration information. Google reclaimed the domain in a hurry today because of their clout, I guess. If you or me messed this up, forget about it.

See story here and here and here and here and here and still more here!

Visitors to the German site of the popular Internet search engine Google were mystified when they typed the address www.google.de into their browsers in the early hours of Tuesday morning. Instead of the familiar stripped-down Google home page, they saw a page with a message in German reading “No content has been provided for this domain,” together with the logo of the German Internet service provider (ISP) Goneo.

Ha! That’s incredible. Another site has more ….

Google Forgets To Register Its Domain Name. Site Down

Wire Service – Wednesday, 24 January 2007

According to web site TechCrunch the German Google site, Google.de has been suspended after Google forgot to register their German domain name.

According to web site TechCrunch reports are coming in from Germany that Google.de was down “for many hours” yesterday, and has now gone live again. We’re trying to confirm the reason, but it appears to be because Google forgot to renew the Google.de domain name. It expired and someone registered it. While the site was down the site showed a standard domain name registrar parked page (probably including Google Ads).

Domain name management can be tricky – email renewal notices can often get lost because employees have left the company. A number of registrars specialize in handling large company domain names to make sure this kind of thing doesn’t happen. Google uses one of those services, MarkMonitor, for at least its Google.com domain name. If Mark Monitor was also managing their .de domain name it is a serious black mark on their record.

I want to stress that this is an unconfirmed story at this point. If anyone has any additional information, please pass it on. A screen shot of the site when it was down would be ideal.

Update here.

Update: The domain ownership went back to Google some hours ago, at around 9:00 CET. Google did not provide us with a comment yet, but according to information from German IT news sites Golem and Heise, here’s what happened.

In mid-January 2007, someone issued a request with web host Goneo.de for ownership of Google.de (this is called a “KK-Antrag” here). Without further verifications, Goneo forwarded this request to German domain manager DeNIC, who then asked Google Inc if this change was OK. But Google failed to answer to this question in time (within 5 days, according to Hosting-Domain.de), which DeNIC treats as a silent acknowledgment – causing an automated change of the domain ownership from Google Inc to Goneo at around 20:30 CET yesterday.

[tags]google, google.de, german, germany, renew, registration, domain[/tags]