DomainTools

Whois Monitor is Back

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I wrote about the handy Domain Tools Whois Monitor tool and how I was disappointed that it had been removed from the basic Whois lookup screen. I just received an email from Name Intelligence’s Susan Prosser, who let me know the Whois Monitor is back on the lookup screen:

“Your wish is my command…. Flag is back but no longer a flag, a magnifying glass (more align with watching)”

This is good news because it will make it quicker and easier to monitor domain names. Great to see Domain Tools listening to their clients. I highly recommend that domain owners add their better domain names to their monitor lists to make sure important details don’t change without notice.

Monitor Domain Names

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For quite some time, when you did a Whois lookup using DomainTools, you had the ability to click a little flag icon to monitor the domain name you were looking up. You could monitor for Whois changes, Nameserver changes, Registration changes, and maybe a few other things. Recently, I tried to monitor a domain name, and I couldn’t find the flag icon.

After a bit of searching this morning, I was able to find the URL to monitor domain names on DomainTools. You do need to have an account to monitor domain names, but it’s part of the package for Silver members.

I have been monitoring a wide variety of domain names, although my list hadn’t been updated in a while. I also keep an eye on domain names I own in addition to names I would like to own.

This is a handy tool that I am happy to learn has not been removed from DomainTools.   I just wish they would move it back to the standard Whois lookup console to make it easier – allowing me to monitor domain names on the fly rather than having to go to a separate URL.

Monitor Domain Names with Domain Alerts

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At any given time, I am tracking the registration details for a considerable number of domain names. Most of these names are owned by my companies, and I follow them as a security precaution. Other domain names I follow are names I am interested in acquiring, and yet others are names I follow for other reasons. There are a whole host of reasons why it’s important to monitor domain names.

DomainTools has a good way to keep track of domain names you have an interest in monitoring. The Domain Monitor service is completely free, and it’s easy to sign up for alerts. All of your alerts will be emailed to you, so you can track a variety of changes as the happen.

Some of the things you can track:

  • Ownership changes
  • Registrar changes
  • Expiration date updates
  • DNS changes

If there are domain names you want to follow, sign up for free alerts on them pretty easily and quickly.

Melanie Oudin .com: Protecting a Brand

I frequently see cybersquatters quickly grab the .com domain names of up and coming athletes, musicians, and entertainers. Oftentimes, it happens when sports magazines announce a new class of top recruits or after a great public performance when people buy these names like lotto tickets hoping the athlete/celebrity hits it big and the name presumably becomes valuable.

Melanie Oudin is a 17 year old woman from Marietta, Georgia currently competing in the US Open tennis tournament in Flushing Queens, New York. This afternoon, Oudin won over the pro-American crowd by defeating 13th ranked Nadia Petrova from Russing in three sets, and is now one of the final 8 women competing in the tournament.

I wanted to see when someone tried to capitalize on Oudin’s success by registering the MelanieOudin.com, and I found that her father had registered it back in 2007 – a very smart move! A professional athlete is a brand, and it’s important to protect the brand as early as possible.

With Melanie Oudin’s great performance in the US Open so far, now might be a smart time to add privacy guard to prevent unwanted emails, although DomainTools has already archived the email address by now.

What Tools & Products Do You Need?

Domain ToolsI use a variety of handy tools every day to help make smarter domain acquisition, sales, and development decisions. Many of these tools weren’t created specifically for domain investors, but they work very well for our needs. Some of the tools I use just about every day include Whois History, website archive, keyword tools, reverse IP search, Alexa, and Compete.

Every so often, I wish that a specific tool or product was created and/or was more accessible or better publicized. For instance, wish there was an intuitive tool where I could type in a keyword phrase, and the tool would spit out associated domain names, Whois results, and let me know if the domain name is a developed website. This would save time and generate domain acquisition targets more easily.

On the product-side, I wish there was much more intuitive and easy to use web development software. I would love a program where I could just drag different elements into place, and it would code everything for me. I wouldn’t want something that created websites that look like they’re from the 1990s – I am talking real deal development that looks great and allows me to create cool things.

I know there are thousands of people working to build tools and products that will help web developers and many who are looking to create something that is helpful to domain investors. I am sure a few of them read domain blogs such as this to see what people want and need – and would pay for if they knew the product existed.

So I ask you, what tools or products would help you become a better web developer or domain investor?

Photo Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jannem/ / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

My Favorite Domain Tools

In addition to a variety of domain news sources, there are a number of domain tools that I use daily when buying and selling domain names, and I wanted to share some of them with you.   If you use other tools, I would be interested to know what you use, and what they do for you. Below are my favorites – although this list will probably grow as I think of other tools I use:

Whois Lookup (Whois.sc) – I think everyone has a favorite Whois look-up, and I use Whois.sc/domain.com in order to see who owns what.   On my Blackberry, I prefer iWhois.com because it loads faster for me.

Domain History Tool (Domain Tools) – This is imperative when buying an older domain name in order to make sure everything looks legit. The last thing you want to do is buy a stolen domain name, so this tool can help you see if something looks fishy.

Website History Check (Archive.org) – This allows you to see various websites that previously existed on a domain name.

Keyword Popularity (Google Adwords) – See how many searches are done monthly and on average via Google to see how people are searching and the exact terms they use.   This tool is also great for development to see what long tail keywords people are looking to find.

Domain Sales Data (DNSalePrice.com) – Although recorded domain sales don’t always mean that similar domain names will sell for the same prices, it’s a good sanity check.   DNJournal’s sales data is also great, but this tool has many more sales, as DNJ records the biggest sales.

Bulk Domain Search (Moniker) – Easy to use and register – and I don’t have to go through 10 pages of upsell junk that I don’t need.

Escrow (Escrow.com) – If I am 100% certain about the domain name’s provenance and not concerned about the seller, I like to use Escrow.com.   It’s simple to set up, I don’t have to wait to sign forms and fax paperwork, they’re very quick, and they clearly know a thing or two about great domain names. Escrow.com is also trusted by non-domainers, making transactions even easier.

Reverse IP (Domain Tools) I secretly love using this tool when buying domain names.   Frequently, people have multiple domain names on one IP address, and if I can see several great domain names owned by one company, I can make a larger bulk offer.

What other tools am I missing?

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