If Google can forget to pay for google.co.za, you should be deliberate about domain name renewal

Leonard Sengere Avatar
domain registration

Ever felt like a dud for forgetting something important, like a loved one’s birthday? Don’t feel bad about that now, turns out even multinational companies like Google with thousands of employees do forget as well.

So, next time someone gives you a hard time about your forgetfulness, tell them even Google forgot to renew their domain name. Yes, that happened, Google forgot to renew the Google.co.za domain name and it expired.

Looking it up on whois showed that the domain name expired on the 25th of June and was set to be deleted.

As a result, for a time, Google asked South African users to use google.com whilst they rushed to resolve the issue.

Fortunately for them, they managed to resolve the issue and got the South African google domain name reinstated.

Had they not managed to resolve the issue, it could have gotten embarrassing and possibly expensive. Someone could have scooped up the domain name the moment it expired and then sold it back to Google for a pretty penny.

Once’s a mistake, twice is a habit

This has happened to Google before. They once forgot to renew the google.com domain name, you know, the main thing Google is known for. It expired and someone was able to buy it before Google knew what was going on.

Google was lucky though, the person who bought it was an employee and was not looking to make a quick buck. He bought it to make sure no domain troll got their hands on it. It worked out for all involved.

However, that shows just how something as simple as renewing a domain name is actually one of the most important things any website owner does. Losing your domain name is like being kicked out of your company headquarters, except it’s worse.

When you’re kicked out of a building, customers that go there will realise you no longer reside there. It will be evident from the lack of signage at the property. However, when someone else has your old domain name, they retain your company name. They may lose the logos but with just the name in the URL, they can fool some into thinking you still run that website.

So, diligence in making sure you retain your domain name is essential.

The domain name rush

This reminds me of the early days of the internet. Few knew just how big the internet would be and so many companies did not think to get the domain names for their companies. The ones that saw the future proceeded to get those domain names, only to sell them to the companies when they finally realised they needed to have their own websites.

The companies had to do this because that’s all you can do when your company is called Techzim and someone else has the techzim.co.zw domain for example.

Some people made a killing trading in domain names but the practice has died down a bit. These days most companies have domain names reserved before they are even registered. It’s hard to catch anyone off guard these days except in cases where they forget to renew like Google did here.

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What’s your take?

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  1. TechZim Support

    Sorry It’s the wrong post

  2. the mandalorian S.E

    ths is what happens when u employ a zimbo to be your senior VP😂

  3. Tonasket Nyahasha

    Who are you?

  4. Tinashe Nyahasha


  5. Total Recall

    Shouldn’t these payments be automated, with set reminders at the right intervals? I’m sure the domain list is pretty much set in stone at this point so it should be easy to do.

  6. forgot

    Every month two days before due date Google sents me an email telling me my credit card bill is due. My bank can do that but I did not enroll, talk about Google snooping on my mobile bank app.

    Google have Calender which can sed you reminders and alarms for reminding users of deadlines and tasks so their no excuse for this oversight.

  7. Caesar

    Well-established norms and legal principles would rule out anyone winning an attempt to extort money for the google.co.za domain. the squatter would not receive extortion but would be required to cede the domain to back to Google. Example is the trademark of a South African Little Pizza Caesar chain that might might not even have been intended as a knock of the first pizza chain Little Cesar in the USA. The South African Little Caesar Pizza had to cede the domain to the USA Little Caesar owners. The South African pizza chain had to change its name to an obscure difficult to remember trade mark name. For domain names one can check how the case that adjudicated the claims dispute for madonna.com whereby the singer Madonna got the domain name from the first person to register madonna.com

    Its impossibly burdensome and expensive for first-comers to register their names in all high-level domains, but legal principles are their protect them from typo-squatters and extortionist registering in their names

    1. Pipi

      You can only be protected if the squatter tries to copy your business model.