Some of Google's competitors have objected to its request for several top-level domains — including ".search" — but the company has clarified plans that would open up the use of those domains to other companies and services. As reported by TechCrunch, the project is outlined in a recent letter to ICANN from Google's domain registry, Charleston Road Registry. In the case of the .search domain, the company would operate a "dotless" domain — http://search, for example. Along with a redirect and a "new technical standard," however, the results a user would see would be from the search service that the user themselves had designated.
Google has similar plans for .app, .blog, and .cloud. In each of those cases — aimed at app developers (without platform preference), bloggers, and cloud services, respectively — the domains could work with any platform or service. The letter states that Google is already working with blogging services to develop the standard that would be needed in that case. While no specific companies are mentioned, the idea could conceivably provide a common top-level domain whether someone is publishing to the web with Tumblr, Blogger, WordPress, or any other number of services.
The concept is certainly compelling, though it's not certain whether the approach will be enough to mollify those who are concerned with Google taking ownership of such far-reaching top-level domains. However, Google's not alone: companies like Amazon have also faced objections over requests for broad top-level domain names.