Google’s free Blogger tool makes it easy for anyone to start their own website, but the platform is undergoing some issues in India this week. Somehow, Google unfortunately let the “” domain lapse, breaking millions of sites and potentially putting them at further risk.

Spotted by The Next Web and BleepingComputer, Google apparently let the domain lapse in early June, with Google no longer in control of that domain. Rather, it’s now being held by and is available for purchase by anyone with $5,999 to spare.

Google hasn’t let the domain lapse, which is where all these blogs are still visible. However, the sites won’t automatically redirect there. Google previously set up the .in and other domain variations for different regions where Blogger sites were created. Having localized domain names allowed faster take-down requests for content hosted on the platform.

As it stands right now, the lapse in domain ownership has caused over 4 million Blogger-hosted websites to become broken in Google search and other areas where they were linked. BleepingComputer requested information from Google on this in early June, but never received a response for the company.

It goes without saying that this was a massive screw-up, but it has the potential to do some real damage. If Google doesn’t re-purchase the domain, the millions of URLs on the web could be redirected to harmful sites, to spread scams and/or malware, and so much more. $5,999 seems like a small price to pay for Google to prevent that.

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Ben Schoon

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