On one hand, once we heard that ICANN would be selling off custom top-level domains (meaning instead of just .com, .org, or .net, you could get .anything), it was easy to assume that Google would be applying to get some of those domains. On the other hand, Google is directly responsible for the steady decline of users actually typing in full URL addresses in the first place.
An annoyingly large number of users will use Google to search for "www.phonearena.com" rather than simply typing the address into the address bar. And, of course there are plenty of users who are too lazy to type the .com, and will just put "phonearena" in their Google Chome omnibox and then click away from
there. Even so, Google has applied for an impressive 101 top-level domains. This is extra impressive because: 1) there were only 2,000 applications, meaning Google has 5% of all applications for the entire world; and, 2) the application fee alone for each
of these is $185,000, meaning Google spent a cool $18.7 million just to try
to obtain these domains.
The list of domains that Google is applying for is varied and has the entries that you would expect, plus quite a few that are just odd. The ones you might expect include .Android, .Nexus, .Moto, .App, .YouTube, .Chrome, .Play, .Plus, .Gmail, .Google, .Search, .Hangout, and more. But, the entries you might not expect get weird and interesting very quickly, including .Dad, .Esq, .Kid, .LOL, .Meme, .PhD, and .Wow.
Google hasn't really explained itself much, saying basically that it wants to "make the introduction of new TLDs a good experience for web users". It basically equates to getting more people online (so they can see more Google ads), and making them feel at home once they're on the web. Google says that it has applied for certain domains simply because of the "creative potential", like .LOL. If nothing else, this feels like Google might be building up a catalogue to sell domains like Hover or GoDaddy.