Is Godaddy Spurning DomainTools on Whois Lookups to Sell Domain Names? |
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Is Godaddy Spurning DomainTools on Whois Lookups to Sell Domain Names?


I’ve noticed something when performing Whois lookups at DomainTools for domain names registered at Godaddy, and I believe it is a fairly recent change. Instead of providing the full registrant information, there is a link to the Whois lookup page at Godaddy.

Interestingly, however, when you do a Whois lookup of a Godaddy-registered domain name at, the full Whois information is available.

When you visit the linked page on the Godaddy website, you are first met with the available domain names with the same term in other top level domain name extensions. Below this are available alternative domain names that can be hand registered, and further below this are premium domain names that can cost in the thousands of dollars.

There is also a link to Godaddy’s Domain Buy Service to help you acquire the domain name that is being looked up.  Finally, below all of this, you can see the domain registrant information.

Although this is a bit annoying for me when using DomainTools to lookup domain names, it is probably a shrewd financial move by Godaddy.

Standard Whois Lookup at DomainTools:

Whois Lookup at DomainTools for name registered at Godaddy

Whois Lookup at for name registered at Godaddy

About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has sold seven figures worth of domain names in the last five years. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest.

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Comments (9)

    Paul J Kapschock

    I miss the old DomainTools with full Godaddy info…please bring back.

    January 3rd, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    Jamie Zoch

    I noticed that yesterday and today as well on Godaddy domains. It also messes up the Registrant Search DomainTools offers as it shows no data.

    January 3rd, 2011 at 3:27 pm


    There are several issues with the scraping or storing of cached WHOIS within European jurisdictions. Look at how DomainTools handles and .eu domains. We have also had an associated issue with the scraping of web content – For example, we’ve found them not to honor the robot.txt directives.

    With regards to WHOIS there are a number of serious issues on associating domain ownership from more than a single WHOIS lookup at any given point in time.

    Historical WHOIS for example should be authoritative and subject to various legal requirements. For example one of the main reasons for WHOIS privacy is the safety of the website owner especially for contentious subject matters. Most users are not even aware of services like DomainTools and how they are combining the data they gain from public WHOIS databases.

    What happens if a Women’s Refuge Center registers a domain in their own name and then converts to privacy before the site goes live?

    Another problem is aggregating of all the domains someone owns. It makes it unnecessarily difficult for companies if people can easily become aware of new products or new intentions before any official announcements simply from monitoring a list of newly registered domains. This sought of thing just casts the whole domain industry in a bad light.

    January 3rd, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    Leonard Britt

    I still get emails related to domains I deleted a couple of years ago and I have to imagine it is due to scraped Whois info. If Godaddy’s move aids in privacy and also generates some additional Godaddy Premium Listings sales, that’s great. Most of my domains are registered with Godaddy.

    January 3rd, 2011 at 4:23 pm


    I have noticed in my own searches for names that GoDaddy seems to show less information from IP’s that have sent a lot of whois requests (I don’t have a clue what the magic number might be).

    I get different results from different servers doing command-line whois lookups.

    They’re probably doing it to inhibit data scraping, as mentioned here, but it’s annoying. Also don’t know if that’s what’s happening for DomainTools, either. You’d think it would’ve happened long ago, if that’s what it was.

    January 3rd, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    Joey Starkey

    I was a little ticked when I first noticed this 2 or 3 days ago myself.

    But since I have most of my .coms that are for sale listed through the GoDaddy Premium Listings it might lead to a few more sales.

    Only time will tell.

    Joey Starkey
    Memphis Domain Broker

    January 3rd, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    no worries

    This isn’t anything new. I have seen this on for the past 2 years. It looks to me that GoDaddy protects the information, so that the person has to go on to GoDaddy to find the Whois information. I do remember seeing this for another company but can’t think of it.

    January 4th, 2011 at 6:56 pm


    It’s definitely new on DomainTools… I use the site many times daily and I just started noticing this.

    January 4th, 2011 at 6:59 pm

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