Now that we’ve gathered our list of domain names and assembled them into a format that creates order out of what can easily be chaos, it is important to fill in our grid. Remember from our previous articles that the horizontal axis our grid is comprised of the various Top-Level Domains (TLDs) that are currently available for registration from the domain registry and the vertical axis is comprised of the various categories into which we want to group our domains names.
What comes next is, largely, vast amounts of research. There are many aggregation tools available on the web. It is important to ask yourself what your toolbox looks like. Consider the following sites as available ways to look up domain names:
Though I seldom use this tool, it is as example of an aggregate domain searching tool. The key here is being able to quickly identify the availability of domain names en masse. My issue with tools like this is that they can supply bad data and misdirect you during your research.
As the once-monopoly in this market, Network Solutions was once the only game in town for domain registration, but now ranks fourth in total domains (http://icannwiki.org
). This was, for many people, the place to look up domain names until in late 2007/early 2008. At this point, it was confirmed that as a “service” to its customers, Network Solutions began registering domain names that people searched for on their website. For me, I’d rather stay away from it.
This is a great site for general news about domains. The site even has an iPhone mobile app for those who have to look up domains on the run. The WHOIS lookup is available directly at http://whois.domaintools.com
This is one of my favorite aggregate look-up tools. It is not always accurate on the results set, but once you select to add the domains of interest to your cart, the tool does another look-up to confirm.
As the now largest domain name registry in the world, boasting registrations of over 34 million domain names, GoDaddy features a quick WHOIS tool. However, after a number of searches GoDaddy presents you with a captcha and numerous advertisements.
If you’re searching for a non-traditional TLD domain, one domain to always check is the http://www.nic.com
[suffix of the TLD you’re searching for]. InterNIC is the Internet’s Network Information Center (http://www.internic.net
) and many suffixes beyond .net use this as a “standard” term for theprimary registration and WHOIS tools.
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