Google Chrome handles new TLDs badly

Kevin Murphy, May 17, 2012, 14:21:34 (UTC), Domain Tech

Sint Maarten’s new .sx country-code top-level domain has been online for at least a couple months now, but Google’s Chrome browser appears to be still a bit wary of it.

Typing “registry.sx” and “nic.sx” into Chrome’s combined URL/search bar today, instead of being sent to my chosen destination I was instead sent to a page of Google search results.

The browser presented the message “Did you mean to go to http://registry.sx?”.

Chrome .sx

Once my intentions were confirmed, Chrome bounced me to the registry’s web site and seemed to remember my preference on future visits. Other Chrome users have reported the same behavior.

Chrome is understood to use the Public Suffix list to figure out what is and isn’t a domain, and .sx does not currently appear on that list.

Internet Explorer and Firefox (also a Public Suffix list user) both seem already to resolve .sx names normally.

While not a massive problem for .sx, which has just a handful of second-level domains active, new gTLD applicants might want to pay attention to this kind of thing.

Chrome has a significant share of the browser market – about 15% by some counts, as high as 38% by others.

Launching a new gTLD without full browser support could look messy. Chrome isn’t blocking access to .sx, but its handling of the new TLD is not particularly graceful.

Imagine a scenario in which you’ve just launched your dot-brand, and instead of arriving at your web site Chrome users are instead directed to Google (with the top sponsored result a link you’ve probably paid for).

ICANN is currently pondering ways to promote the universal acceptance of TLDs for precisely this reason.

Searches for the pop producer Will.I.Am prompt Chrome to attempt to find an address in the Armenian ccTLD.

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Comments (5)

  1. Ben says:

    Google Chrome is not good at the moment.
    Problem started yesterday.
    Wasting our time badly…
    Whenever it start Google apps…

    It is time to return Internet Explorer I think.

  2. Tried a search using Google in IE too – same results

  3. Sam says:

    Simply submit a unified diff to the Public Suffix List with the entry it’s not hard, in fact it’s likely already done. I prefer how Chromium does it over other browsers, if I search for “java.lang.Util.Collections” in FF or IE it tries to resolve it as a URL, Chrome and Chromium show me the search result. Using Open standards will always take a little longer, but is always much better cut Chrome some slack.

    In terms of the will.i.am scenario, I agree that it should be more graceful, I think if the Browser doesn’t find something optionally redirect the user to some search results.

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