What is Google’s RoboHornet? Whois record

It may be nothing, it may be something.  But what is known is that Google privately registered the domain names and on February 17, 2012, then removed the Whois privacy and transferred the domains to its own name servers a week later. (Whois) and (Whois) were both registered through internet brand protection company MarkMonitor. 

According to Whois historical records, Google chose to keep the registrant information private.  That is, until the record was updated on February 24, revealing Google Inc. as the owner.

So, what is RoboHornet?

I won’t bother speculating at this point, because Google buys new domain names all the time for a variety of reasons, including future projects that may never see the light of day.

However, after a brief internet search, I did come across a small piece of information.  On May 4, 2011, it appears a Google developer created a project called RoboHornet on Google Project Hosting, a free collaborative development environment for open source projects.  

As of today though, the RoboHornet project home page returns a 403 error.

Neither nor resolve to a web page.

Discussion: Marketing Land


Google Inc. registers more GoogleWeb, ChromeWeb, and Screenwise domains Whois

Search Engine Land’s Matt McGee reported earlier this month that Google had registered a number of Labs, Screenwise and Adwords domains. 

Among the list of fourteen names were domains like,, and

Now Google has registered more variations of GoogleWeb, ChromeWeb and Screenwise.

On February 23, Google picked up,,,, and

It also appears Google privately registered (Whois) and (Whois) through the internet brand protection company MarkMonitor.

The Screenwise domains supplement Google’s Screenwise (, a panel of a few thousand people who are paid to gather data.  As noted by Search Engine Land, the domains hint that Google is serious about becoming a consumer data gatherer and source.

While the purpose of obtaining the Screenwise domains is pretty obvious, less is known about the GoogleWeb and ChromeWeb names.

At the time of this story, none of the new domains resolve to a web page.

Discussion: Marketing Land

Disputes National Arbitration Forum News

Google goes after YouTube typo domains that it didn’t win in a previous dispute

Google has been going after popular typos of the web address in recent months and it’s been having its share of success in disputes, winning five typo domain names in early January and several more later that month in another case that also involved Google typo domains.

However, in a separate complaint (Case No. 1413915) that reached a decision in late December 2011, Google only batted .740, as reported by Domain Name Wire

In that case, Google won rights to 37 typo domain names, but lost its claim to 13 infringing domain names like because the Panelist found that the 13 domains were registered prior to the trademark filings with the USPTO of January 30, 2006.  As Domain Name Wire pointed out, it appears Google got screwed. “The first use in commerce date on the trademark is April 24, 2005, which predates the 13 additional domain registrations.”

Google hasn’t given up hope on winning those 13 domains.  

According to a new filing (Case No. 1428476) with the National Arbitration Forum this week, Google is once again going after:,,,,,,,,,,,, and

As with all domain disputes, each Panel examines three elements before reaching a decision.

(1) is the domain name identical or confusingly similar to a trademark in which the complainant has rights
(2) the owner has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name and;
(3) the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith. 

If all three elements are satisfied, then the domain names will finally be ordered transferred to Google.

Each of the typo domains named in Google’s latest complaint, send visitors to an online survey scam (as shown in the picture above of, that asks a series of questions and attempts to gather personal information by promising free gifts like an iPhone 4S or an iPad 2.

Discussion: The Next Web, Marketing Land and


UPDATED: Google may be officially launching Rater Hub

Rater Hub web page

Back in 2005, Henk van Ess wrote about the Google Rater Hub, a somewhat secretive program at the time that had people review and rate the quality of Google’s search results.

Well, now it looks like the Rater Hub program will soon have a more public home on the web with the registration of the domain earlier this week by Google.  

Typing the web address today, takes you to a Google 404 page that says, “The requested URL / was not found on this server. That’s all we know.” 

404 pages on Google’s network can be a good sign that something is happening out at Google.

Paying people to review and rate search results at Google is nothing new and the very topic was recently in the news.

In January, Matt McGee published a detailed interview online with a Google Search Quality Rater, after a contractor contacted Search Engine Land wanting to explain and clarify some of the things that had been written and said about the program.

While Google hires contractors to do the job, it’s possible it may be doing more.

The search engine giant registered the domain name (Whois) through MarkMonitor on February 13, 2012, which surprisingly had never been registered before. Whois record

In the past few days, the name transferred from MarkMonitor’s name server to Google.

Given the purchase of the domain, name server changes and the recent news, we could expect to see something soon on

[Update 1 on February 22, 2012: In the past 24 hours, a sign in page has gone online using Google Accounts, as shown in the snapshot below.  The message reads, “Google is not affiliated with the contents of Ewok2 Rater Hub or its owners.”  It appears Rater Hub is a third party service, not operated by Google.] 

Ewok2 Rater Hub

Discussion: Search Engine Land


Google quietly launches Women Entrepreneurs on the Web initiative

Women Entrepreneurs on the Web initiative

Google employee Pooja Srinivas appears to be one of the people behind Google’s latest web initiative called “Women Entrepreneurs on the Web” (or WeOW, for short).

Srinivas, a resident of India, registered several domains earlier this month like (Whois), which transferred to Google’s ownership this past week and a website is already up and running.

What is the Women Entrepreneurs on the Web initiative?

Well, according to the site, “Women Entrepreneurs on the Web is an initiative aimed at helping women-owned businesses grow their online presence. This initiative is currently being piloted in India.”

Any women-owned business is eligible for the program, as long as one of the founders is a woman and as part of the program, the people involved will learn to use various web-based technologies in their day to day business.

Google has been launching a number of initiatives online in the past year aimed at getting more people online, like the Google-led program “Get Your Business Online” dedicated to helping local businesses in various U.S. states.

Discussion: @DashBurst