According to an announcement from Google today, the company will start exploring ways to expand the domain space.

ICANN recently held an open submission for new top-level domains (like .com and .net), and Google apparently participated by submitting some of its own. The gTLD submission process closed on March 29th due to a software glitch, but re-opened until yesterday.

Here’s what the company had to say about it:

In 2008, ICANN announced a program to expand the number of generic TLDs (think .com, .org, .edu), developed through its bottom-up, multi-stakeholder process, in which we participate. Given this expansion process, we decided to submit applications for new TLDs, which generally fall into four categories:

- Our trademarks, like .google
- Domains related to our core business, like .docs
- Domains that will improve user experience, such as .youtube, which can increase the ease with which YouTube channels and genres can be identified
- Domains we think have interesting and creative potential, such as .lol

While this would be great news for Google, the company says it’s dedicated to keeping up with security and abuse prevention, as well as working closely with all ICANN-accredited registars. This means that the company will be fair in how it divvies out these new TLDs.

The cost simply to apply for a TLD? A lot:

The evaluation fee is estimated at US$185,000. Applicants will be required to pay a US$5,000 deposit fee per requested application slot when registering. The US$5,000 will be credited against the evaluation fee.

New TLDs haven’t been announced yet, so it will be interesting to see which applications are accepted by ICANN. I would personally love to have a .lol domain name.

I’d love to see a comprehensive list of all of the applications from major companies. Did Facebook submit a .fb or .facebook application? What domain names would you like to see in the future, tell us in the comments!