Sunday 3 July 2022

Last week, South Africa’s main Google search platform and domain name went into a Pending Delete status after its renewal was missed.  The main search page and its popular subdomain such as and all went domain down.  An analysis shows that the domain name expired on 25 June 2022 and was placed in a pending delete status.

google whois lookup

During the pending delete period, a domain name can no longer be restored, renewed, or recovered by the previous owner or the Registrar, and the domain name is scheduled to become available for registration after 5 days.  Once the 5 days are up, the domain name is released, and the zone file is deleted.

Google made a statement shortly after the news broke:

“Google is aware of an issue affecting it domain name and is taking steps to reinstate it.  In the meantime, the remains fully functional and we encourage South African users to make use of this URL instead”

It is unclear whether the renewal issue was with Google itself or their domain name management provider. The domain name has since been restored and looks to be now working again.

This isn’t the first time this has occurred.  Only last year expired and was picked up by a local designer (who gifted it back to the company) for $2.  In 2015, itself expired and was registered by one of its employees (who also transferred it back to the company).

Given the frequency of expirations, Google really needs to look at their renewal processes, domain name management provider and people responsible for domain names, because in 2022 this should not be happening to a company like Google.

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