It seems like the Google domain is back up after it suddenly shut down on Friday morning when South Africans started to see domain name service (DNS) errors on the main Google search page.
All Google services that use the google.co.za including Google Maps were unavailable. Google.com, however, and other services that use that domain like Gmail remained fully operational.
According to Business Insider, domain records show that google.co.za was due for renewal at the end of June but it had been not renewed. This means that the domain could have been deleted forever if Google had not intervened.
“Google is aware of an issue affecting its google.co.za domain name and is taking steps to reinstate it. In the meantime, the google.com domain remains fully functional and we encourage South African users to make use of this URL instead,” Google said on Friday morning when users could not use the domain.
As per Business Insider, failure to renew a domain starts an automatic countdown to its deletion from domain records. As the countdown runs, the domain becomes unavailable. So that is probably what happened this Friday morning.
It is not clear whether this was just an administrative error by Google. However, the domain is back up now.
Google can halt that process by renewing its registration, for a nominal fee, and with a small amount of paperwork, Business Insider said. Perhaps that is what Google did in order for the domain to come back and avoid deletion.
One user said:
Google SA forgetting to renew their domain name is the most South African thing I’ve heard.
— Jen and Tonic (@JennaJayLange) July 1, 2022