Domain Registrations Can Tip Hands

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Yesterday morning, Richard Branson announced “Virgin Group’s investment in Hyperloop One.” The amount invested was not revealed, but it was a large enough amount that the company’s name is changing to Virgin Hyperloop One.

Although it is not yet resolving or forwarding to a website, VirginHyperloopOne.com was unsurprisingly registered. The domain name is registered under privacy proxy, so it is not clear who owns the domain name or who registered it. What is a bit surprising is when this domain name was registered. Usually companies wait until the final moments to register a domain name, but this wasn’t the case for VirginHyperloopOne.com.

Had outsiders been paying attention to Hyperloop-related domain name registrations, the registration of VirginHyperloopOne.com may have tipped people off to this news several months ago. According to Whois records, VirginHyperloopOne.com was registered back in April.

DomainTools has a great tool called “Brand Monitor,” which I previously wrote about. Brand Monitor allows users to enter in brand keywords, and DomainTools sends a morning email blast with domain names that were registered that have the keyword in them. Tracking Apple keyword registrations would be challenging because of the frequency of domain name registrations with “apple” in them. Tracking “Hyperloop” or other unique domain registrations would be easier.

With my complementary journalist account at DomainTools, I have a limited number of brand keywords I can monitor. Interested third parties could monitor their favorite brands and perhaps get a sneak preview of new products or services.

I don’t recall seeing anyone mention the VirginHyperloopOne.com domain name registration back in April, but had someone noticed, the news might have leaked earlier. Domain registrations can tip the hands of companies, although they could easily be misleading if cybersquatters buy brand domain names or if companies defensively register a wide swath of meaningless domain names.

7 COMMENTS

  1. IMHO Hyperloop is just a huge waste of money, definitely not a priority. It’s fool’s money …
    Musk and Branson should invest in something more useful to our society, like for ex to preserve our environment …

    “my complementary journalist account at DomainTools”
    Didn’t know you were a journalist, Elliot … 🙂

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