His name is Sanmay Ved, and for one brief moment he was the owner of the single most popular domain on the web. Business Insider reports that Ved “was up late and searching Google Domains, Google’s website-buying service, when he noticed that Google.com was available”.
Instead of a gray sad face that indicates a domain has an owner, the green happy face showed it was available.
The cost to buy the most-trafficked domain in the world? Only $12.
Instead of receiving the normal “you bought a domain” emails from the company, his Google Search Console dashboard, which has an overview of his other websites, was updated with messages for the Google.com domain owner. He also received emails with internal information, which he has since reported to Google’s security team, Ved said.
“The scary part was I had access to the webmaster controls for a minute,” Ved said.
Ved’s euphoric experience ended as abruptly as it started. After a minute or so, he received the advice that someone had registered the site before he could. The sale was canceled and his $12 was refunded.
A small touch of irony in Ved’s ownership of the domain is that he did once work for Google.