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Is some company registering the domain names I look-up?

Diabolical scheme to snatch good domains or mere coincidence?

   
10:41 pm on Nov 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Forgive me if this sounds stupid or has already been covered.

Last week I looked-up a domain name that was exactly on-target for the next website I want to do and it was available. Today I look and it's registered to someone else. Is there some way that someone can get a list of what domain names have been "looked-up" to see if they're available (not the registrar I checked with but someone else -- the registrar would WANT me to get the domain name through them). I'd imagine that having such a list and then registering the names that are being looked-up would be a great business...

...or am I not getting enough sleep?

8:25 am on Nov 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I've just checked with my normal registrar on some names I've looked up over the past month and they are all still available.

Looks like I've found a decent registrar, and a cheap(ish) one as well.

8:54 am on Nov 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Hi Harry_wales:

" I advise clients never to look up a domain name until they are ready to pay for one, on the spot,
there and then... "

That is exactly what I did recently.

When I first got my own domain, the domain name I really wanted was taken by some small nearly invisible site.
So, I registered one with a different TLD, .net instead of .com. That was 4-5 years ago.

Recently, TWO separate entities offered to sell me the original .com domain, fairly cheap, maybe $150.
I did a lookup on the big original former-monopoly registrar.

There was the .com I wanted originally, now available. I IMMEDIATELY registered it for 10 years.
No sales price, just cost of registration, by coincidence about $150 again.

Now safely tucked away, I can talk about it.

I have both domains pointed to the same host, and the host is aliasing .com to .net
Only the .net has any content. Anyone see problems with that? -Larry


Woz

9:09 am on Nov 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member woz is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



When researching domains, you could go to a whois lookup site, such as whois dot sc, and search using short extracts from the target domain. For example, if targeting redwidgets.com, search for domains starting with "re" and comtaining "idget". A tad more laborious, but less obvious.

Onya
Woz

12:57 pm on Nov 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I have never had problems with whois dot sc, in my smallish expererience of about 70 domains. (Some of t hem were good)

There was a prized domain .net being pending delete, and that was where I tried to backorder that but failed. The registrar was network solutions.

2:40 pm on Nov 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Ok, It's just happened to me 5 minutes ago. I searched for the right domain name for my upcoming project on yahoo, when I finally decided the name, I proceeded to register it but halfway in the process I got a message:

"We're sorry! A secondary search showed that this domain is not available.
Please enter a different domain name below."

I checked the whois and there the domain has just been registered 1 minute ago.

I guess the title of this thread is correct. I'm not sure though if it's yahoo or someone else has access to what people are searching for domain name is the culprit.

If you want to look at the domain name, pm me.

1:21 am on Nov 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jab_creations is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



<edit>

Which registrars are being used? How scientific is the approach?

Spammers would seem to be one crowd to take a shining to such an idea of registering a domain in order to make a big profit off of it.

Rule #1.) Don't visit the domain name you want.

Rule #2.) Do not look up availability of a domain name you want.

Rule #3.) Be cautious about using whois services.

Until you have the capitol to purchase a domain name through your prefered registrar pinging a domain name via the three rules I stated is a no no if you subscribe to the conspiracy theory.

<edit>

Since anyone can become a registrar it seems rather logical that with a little scripting some list can be made of domains that exist that were checked for availability.

<edit>

So it's a matter of deciding if your registrar is on your side or not. There are ways of doing so but I think that would be better off in another thread by someone a little more qualified in that case).

[edited by: Webwork at 3:39 am (utc) on Nov. 27, 2005]

6:06 pm on Nov 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Preliminary research could include:

Google for domain-name
Google kw1 kw2
Check archive.org (especially if domain expired)
type www.domain.com into browser
Browse catagories in Sedo etc

11:19 am on Nov 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



even me I had that problem I looked up two african names including .net extension of my domain name, they were available at that time and I tried to register, I did not put my credit card becouse I left at home so I withdraw the registration procees. the next day the two domains were gone. the registerer I was using is godaddy, therefore I agree with the title of the thread.
12:10 pm on Nov 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I didn't read the whole thread, but that definitely happens.
I'm sure it happens. It also happens that companies register your watching domains in wohis.sc.
6:00 pm on Dec 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I usually have the client on the phone with me and go through variations of the name, as well as advise them about 800 number and licenseplate...

Usually I will grab the domain name right then and there!

I also usually use directnic for searching ... I like the interface. But, I also use bugmenot ...

J

6:55 pm on Dec 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



It really is a frustrating situation. It has forced me to buy first and ask questions later.

In a couple of instances I've been burned by a fried (banned) domain that I had to purchase immediately to protect.

Otherwise buying immediately works fine. We're just lucky that domain registration is so cheap now-a-days.

Freq---

5:20 pm on Dec 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Many registrars are registering the domains and testing their traffic and if it is able to earn the registration fee, then they are keeping or releasing back to the pool.

So prepare for registration before checking whois. I suggest to use [internic.net...]

12:54 am on Dec 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Why?
4:36 am on Dec 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Why?

Because it is free. They can cancel the domains that they mass purchase within a 3-5 days 'grace period'.

Try going through a droplist of expired domains and none of them will be available the day it is dropped. After they (the registrars) have tested and proven that these names are useless traffic-wise, then it will be dropped back into the pool. So in the end, they keep the high traffic names while leaving the crumbs to anyone who wants it few days later.

5:19 pm on Dec 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



When a domain expires, a XYZ registrar will register it and tests it traffic. If no traffic, then he drops it in 5 days. Then another ABC registrar will pick it up and tests it traffic. Again drop it after 5 days as no residual traffic. This happened to one expired domain I registered recently. They see that you can never get a high traffic domain. Even these xyz, abc registrar dont have websites. They just took ICANN affliation to do these things.
8:20 pm on Dec 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Very interesting. It looks like the odds are stacked against us all right. But perhaps I didn't make myself clear. The "why?" was addressing the suggestion about using internic.net's whois server. Do you have any inside knowledge that they don't track searches for unregistered domains?
4:43 pm on Dec 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Be prepared to purchase a domain before trying whois or be prepared to loose the domain. Thatz it. If your domain is something like keyword1-keyword2-keyword3.com then no one will register it. But if you search for some nice domains similar to webmasterworld.com, then sure someone will register it.
9:57 am on Dec 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



That's exactly what I do. But my question was, why do you suggest internic.net's whois server?
5:13 pm on Dec 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Internic.net is maintained by ICANN. They dont do such things. I suppose. Just check the whois info of internic.net and you will know.
6:00 pm on Dec 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Evil thought experiment. What would happen if we pooled our resources, built something that spoofs IP Addresses and cookies. That queries the whois of the offenders and follows that up by generating traffic to those domains and get these suckers to buy up a ton of junk domains.

Funny thing is, from the first time I did a whois, I thought of this hole and was concerned it could happen.

This industry needs to be regulated and these policies should be illegal.

6:52 pm on Dec 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jomaxx is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I've heard stories about this for years, so I have no doubt it can happen. FWIW, I usually do WHOIS testing on what is probably the biggest and oldest regstrar (Network Solutions), and it's never happened to me that I can recall.
12:35 am on Dec 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I always do a command-line whois - I assume this also goes right to the backbone on internic, but I'm not sure.
Its certainly not using a specific registrar!

It may be going too far to blame an actual registrar - it could well be the employees, making a little on the side. (Not that this lets the employer off from their responsibilities!)

1:23 am on Dec 28, 2005 (gmt 0)



Funny I've encountered similar "accidents" a few years back. Smells like "web bubble 2.0"
10:33 am on Dec 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Please sticky me your cheezy registrars. ;) I'd love to register a .com and tie all of the other TLDs down by taking them to cart and bailing.
11:23 pm on Dec 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Clark says: "Evil thought experiment. What would happen if we pooled our resources, built something that spoofs IP Addresses and cookies. That queries the whois of the offenders and follows that up by generating traffic to those domains and get these suckers to buy up a ton of junk domains."

(BTW I don't know how to do that quote thing where it puts it in a shaded box...help?)

Clark, I like your idea here but don't totally understand it. How do you know who the "offenders" are? Would there be a bot that generates and checks fake domain names, then checks back in a couple days to see if they're taken?

I don't know much about the history of the industry but I agree it needs to be regulated. Why doesn't a government agency handle all registrations (for .com, .org, etc)?

1:43 am on Dec 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I remember hearing/believing this back around the 98-00 years when I was still in High School. Sometimes my lookups were registered, rather soon after my look ups, sometimes they were never taken. I even tried going all the way upto payment method's on some domains just to see if they'd be taken afterwards. They were still available.

My experience has been sometimes true, sometimes false.

2:02 am on Dec 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



As for the using Internic.net for whois (which I primarily use myself), I'm not sure how that's safer.

The results I get when I do a look up would cause me to believe that any whois service queries all the registrars' databases for information, and so you're still querying each registrar's database whether or not you're on their specific website

5:35 am on Dec 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Clark says: "Evil thought experiment. What would happen if we pooled our resources, built something that spoofs IP Addresses and cookies. That queries the whois of the offenders and follows that up by generating traffic to those domains and get these suckers to buy up a ton of junk domains."

If you want to make these people buy up junk domains, it would be better to randomly hit on their parked page continuously for afew days after the drop rather than querying the domains before that.

One particular registrar will hold on to the domains for afew days through their various proxies irregardless of whether anyone is interested in it or not.

I would be interested to participate in this experiment and it would be better to have a more varied base of 'visitors' to these park pages.

3:13 am on Jan 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



It's happened to me. Like everyone, I've got enemies, but that doesn't mean I'm paranoid. There's no doubt in my mind that the WHOIS inquiries are mined, and the better looking monikers snapped up. Accept the world the way it is. If you really think a domain name is that good, about 3:00AM go ahead and register it as fast as you can. That's what I do. Learn to sWebmasterWorldith the sharks.
1:41 am on Jan 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Just happened to me the other day. Was looking up a domain whois and about 3 hours later it was taken. I use software to look up whois info, its affiliated with a free spyware remover. Maybe the software sends the queries to an affiliated company when they are available? Any ideas on this?
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