Domain Portfolio Management - Part 5

Adding to your portfolio

In our last article, we discussed the anatomy of a WHOIS record and adding that information to your portfolio tracking document. Now, it is time to continue researching which domains you do not currently own, but do feel that should be a part of your portfolio.
The best place to start is by just entering the domain at both a root web address and a www web address. This is a quick way to tell whether a domain is registered or not before you engage in the WHOIS record.
You can easily assess the domains not yet in a domain portfolio into the following categories:
The domain name is available for open registration. This can be determined upon receipt of a “domain does not exist” or “domain cannot be found” message in your web browser. You should conduct a double-check of one of the WHOIS sites discussed part III of our series. Most often the WHOIS result you’re looking for is “this domain name is not registered” or “this domain is available.” GUSPRETZELS.NET and PRETZELS.NET are currently available for registration.
Registered, Not-In-Use
A domain in this status is registered, has a WHOIS record associated with it, but does not have a site being hosted on it. Oftentimes individuals or organizations that are no longer using them and are most likely to be available for sale own these domains. 
Registered, Parked Page
Domains in this status are registered, have a WHOIS record associated with them and have a parked page. An example of what a parked pages looks like can be seen at PRETZELS.TV. This is a very common parked page format as it is used GoDaddy’s Reseller Division Wild West Domains. These domains are oftentimes for sale. Watch the TITLE of the page and/or a for sale message at the bottom of the page or just write the admin contact an email inquiring about the domain name’s availability.
Registered, Generic Landing Page
Very similar to parked pages, but subtly different, domains that are only in use for generic landing pages are packed with advertising in and around the keywords and phrases within the domain. Often these host pay-per-click advertising ads. Various kinds of generic landing pages can be found at PRETZELS.COM, PRETZELS.INFO, and PRETZELS.US.
Registered, In Use, Competitor and Registered, In Use, Non-Competitor
Domains in this status are “in use” or have live sites existing on them. For domain portfolio and online brand defense purposes, the most important thing to determine if the organization that has a site there is “friend” or “foe.” Determine with a quick visit to the site if this organization is a competitor or not. Taken to the extreme, you could also determine if competitors are local, regional, national, or international. 
Once you’ve completed all of this research, it is time to go shopping. Based on the priorities we determined in our previous article and the availability of the domains that are most important to your business, you can start the registration process. 
We recommend that for any domains purchased from anyone other than a registrar be run through an escrow service to protect from fraud. If possible, never pay for a domain name before it has been successfully transfer to your domain registrar and has been locked.


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