A few months ago, an acquaintance of mine shared a link with me to a private research tool he was offering, which I was told that very few other people had access. The information this tool provided was valuable, and I thought it was great. That is, until I realized the primary purpose for this tool – it was something that allowed the tool’s owner to learn about what searchers were searching, giving him an inside peak at what other domain investors were researching in real time.
Every domain investor has his “secrets,” whether it’s a specific type of domain name that’s earning strong revenues, knowledge of a new client buying domain names, tool that can provide traffic numbers for expiring domain names, method for contacting end users…etc. It’s also inevitable that we need to use other companies’ products to do specialized research, such as Whois lookups and traffic tools such as Alexa or Compete.
However, there are plenty of companies out there who offer a host of products and services that can also be competitors of domain investors. These companies could potentially use the information gleaned from your research to help advance their own domain investment strategies. There may not even be a way to tell for certain if a company is using your information for their own domain investment advancement.
Next time you are doing some research, completing a transaction, or using someone else’s tools for your domain investments, keep in mind that it might be a competitor in disguise, and you should do what you can to mitigate your exposure.