The Google Argentina domain name was purchased by a web designer last Wednesday when the site was inactive for two hours in the country.
30-year-old Nicolas Kurona said she was able to purchase Google.com.ar through normal legal proceedings.
“I never imagined it would allow me to buy it,” he told the BBC.
Google Argentina told the BBC: “In the short term, the domain was acquired by someone else.” He added that he regained control of the domain very quickly.
The story began on Wednesday night when Nicholas was at his desk in the suburbs of Buenos Aires, designing a website for his clients.
He started receiving messages on WhatsApp that Google was down.
“I typed www.google.com.ar in my browser, but it didn’t work,” he said. “I thought something was wrong.”
He decided to move on to the Network Information Center Argentina (NIC), the organization responsible for operating the .ar country code domain. He searched google-and popped up an Argentine google domain available for purchase.
“I received an email with a purchase invoice after taking the steps,” he said, even though he thought it wouldn’t work.
Nicholas shared the NIC invoice with the BBC. The Google Argentina domain name was obtained for 270 pesos (£ 2.08 / $ 2.90).
Stunned, he tapped www.google.com.ar into the search bar and pressed Enter. “My personal data has appeared,” he said.
“I saw the screen and it froze. I couldn’t believe what happened.”
On Wednesday at 21.52 local time, Nicholas purchased a Google Argentina domain name. All of those millions of Google searches, and the people who come to www.google.com.ar, theoretically came to him.
“I want to make it clear that I never had a bad intention. I just tried to buy it and the NIC allowed me to do it,” he said.
Nicholas’s night turned into a major news article in just a few minutes.
“When the purchase process was completed and my data was displayed, I knew something would happen … I was really worried,” he said.
Nicholas tweeted what happened and tried to reveal how the events diminished, he said.
So what happened?
Well, one theory is that Google simply forgot to update its domain name. However, according to Google, the domain license hasn’t expired and wasn’t expected to expire until July 2021.
Open data Cordova The group (only for tracking expired Argentine domains and tracking registered domains) backs this up. It’s still unclear why Google’s domain name was released.
Nicholas says he doesn’t know what happened, but finds it “a little weird” to get the media attention. He has been welcomed as a hero in several corners of Twitter, and his tweets revealing what happened received 80,000 likes.
Nicholas says he was relieved because he wasn’t in trouble.
Google is investigating what went down on Wednesday. But for some reason, Google lost control of Google Argentina this week for at least a few minutes-for a 30-year-old web designer, that’s the case.
James Clayton is the BBC’s North American Technology Reporter based in San Francisco. Follow him on Twitter @ jamesclayton5..