Google's new URL shortener comes from Greenland

I’m always curious to know how long companies have been planning their Internet campaigns and services, so when I read about Google’s new URL shortening service (only currently available to Toolbar and Feedburner users) I decided to do a little digging.


First up, they’re using the TLD (top level domain) for Greenland, in order to give them the .gl extension for the domain name.

My guess is that, if Lebanon had a .le and not a .lb extension, Google would’ve registered goog.le as well.

It took a while for me to get a whois listing for it. It seems it’s not as simple as visiting a standard whois server online or using ‘whois’ on the command line. Instead, I had to visit

Finally, I got the result:

Domain Information
Created: 22 Jun 2005
Expires: 01 Jan 2010
Modified: 07 Dec 2009
Status: Active
Registrar: markmonitor
Name Servers:

DNS Admin
Google Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain ViewCA 94043
Voice: +1 6303300100
Fax: +1 6506188571

So, Google registered the domain in mid-2005, and it currently costs around $40 to register or renew a Greenland domain.

Funnily enough, it is currently set to expire in a couple of weeks’ time, but presumably Google will be renewing it in good time.

Exciting stuff, huh?


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