The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) voted this week to uphold its policy against implementing dotless domain names, essentially bringing an end to a push from Google to introduce and own http://search, http://app, http://blog, and http://cloud. Google's proposal to ICANN was to allow each dotless domain to redirect to user-designated sites via a "new technical standard" that the company has spent months developing. For example, Google wanted http://search to bring up a search engine of a user's choice — whether it be Google, Bing, Yahoo, or anything else.
Likewise, if Google had gotten its way, http://blog would direct web surfers to a user-specified blogging platform, while http://cloud would have done the same for cloud services, and http://app would have done the same for mobile and desktop app stores.
http://search isn't happening In its resolution passed this week, ICANN said it was rejecting dotless domains because it had found, after commissioning studies on the subject, that introducing such domains would pose substantial security and stability risks. Google officials did not respond to a request for comment on the ICANN decision by press time.
The dotless domain rejection isn't much of a surprise given ICANN's hesitance to change the status quo. While the organization has said nearly 2,000 new domain names could be on the way, it has introduced new domains relatively slowly. The biggest changes ICANN has introduced this year came in July, when the group activated four generic top-level domains: .شبكة (Arabic for "web"), .游戏 (Chinese for "game"), .онлайн (Russian for "online"), and .сайт (Russian for "web site"). Meanwhile, Google has also been pushing for .search, .app, .blog, .cloud, and .map, and Amazon has filed applications for .book and .amazon — some of which are garnering opposition of their own. But so far, ICANN hasn't yet approved or denied those top-level domain name requests.