DomainTools

Monitor Domain Names

5

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

3

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

7

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?

8

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

9

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?

Research Domain Names Before You Buy

1

The way a domain was used in the past could potentially impact a domain owner, so researching any potential domain acquisition is important. Not only could prior usage put a domain owner at risk of losing his domain name due to a UDRP, but there could also be untold legal risk when acquiring a domain name, and also issues with it appearing in search engines.   All of these potential problems can cause much financial turmoil as well as take time to remedy and reconcile.
The first and probably the most obvious concern is prior TM infringement with a domain name that may have multiple meanings. If a domain name was previously parked, and the PPC links infringed on another company’s mark(s) where the domain name is also confusingly similar to that company’s marks, the company may have a legitimate complaint. If a new domain owner takes possession of the domain name, it doesn’t negate the issues that existed before. The complainant could cite prior use of the domain name, and the new owner’s claim of non-responsibility probably wouldn’t fly.   I think this is especially so in the case of three letter .com domain names, where there may be many companies whose trademarks could be infringed upon.
If a domain name was involved in spam or phishing emails, the new owner may be held accountable.   I am not an attorney, so I am not going to say what liability may exist, but from a public relations perspective, it could be detrimental. People may have posted their spam/phishing messages in forums or other websites, all linking back to the domain name. If the domain name gets developed into a website, it might be tough to be legitimized if enough questions were raised – forever linked in Google search results.
In addition to these issues, there are also spam blacklists that exist. If a domain name is put on the list, many mail servers may not accept incoming mail from certain domain names. While that may not be important for mini-sites or for parked domain names, if a business is built on that domain name, email access will be critical. A company may be able to appeal to the blacklists (like Spamhaus), but I don’t know how to handle that.
If a domain name was previously parked or if there were other major problems with it, Google and Yahoo may have banished the name from their listings. Upon changing ownership and/or building a new website on the domain name, it might not even appear in Google or Yahoo because of the domain name’s past history. There is a way to remedy this however, by filing a reconsideration request with Google or asking Yahoo to re-review the website. Neither of these will guarantee that your site will appear, but it’s a good start.
Research is key when buying a domain name. Archive.org offers a great tool to see what the website looked like at various points in time, allowing you to see the history of the site.   Domaintools also offers many valuable research tools to see the ownership history, blacklist history, screenshots, and some other useful tools. While you may think you are buying a domain name with a clean history – or one whose history will be cleared when you buy it, but it reality, it’s always buyer be ware.

Recent Posts

Hilco Streambank Marketing Thomas Cook Domain Name Portfolio

British travel company Thomas Cook Travel Group had a highly publicized bankruptcy that ended up stranding hundreds of thousands of customers who were abroad...

Video: “Innovative Entrepreneurs of the .CO Generation”

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_i0FlcOvak] There are many startups that use .CO domain names, and Neustar has been active in highlighting and promoting these companies and businesses. I...

DAE.com Sells for Six Figures in Expiry Auction

The DAE.com domain name expired in mid-October, and the domain name went to auction at GoDaddy Auctions. The auction for this 24 year old...

ICA Responds to Rick Schwartz Call for Action

Earlier this morning, Rick Schwartz posted an "Emergency Industry Alert in the form of a tweet to generate awareness for a proposal from an...

OKBoomer.com in Pending Delete Status

'"OK Boomer" is a catchphrase and internet meme that gained popularity throughout 2019, used to dismiss or mock attitudes stereotypically attributed to the baby...