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Someone snatched up a domain after I used whois?

Someone selling off search terms?



4:44 am on Mar 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

I recently used a registrar to search availability for typos similar to my primary domain. I was going to purchase any close typos and have them forwarded to my main site.

One day I searched for a few such terms didn't directly purchase the domain(s) immediately. After a few days the domain was registered.

I didn't tell anyone about my search and it seems highly unlikely that it was mere coincidence that someone snatched up the name exactly one day after my query. Now I'm very suspicious about which whois lookup somehow handed out the 'recently searched' terms.

Has anyone had this happen before?

<snip>What can I do if I believe it's really happening - that someone is acting on my lookups?

Thank you for your advice in advance as always.

[edited by: Webwork at 2:01 pm (utc) on Mar. 11, 2006]
[edit reason] Charter [webmasterworld.com] [/edit]


3:05 pm on Mar 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

I doubt that anyone is watching your whois queries specially if you use whois from domain registrars.


3:28 pm on Mar 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Many so called registrars are actually re-sellers who will buy up a domain the moment anyone expresses an interest in it. If you want do a whois query without fear of this happening again then use the internic whois query.


5:17 pm on Mar 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I've been paranoid about this very topic for a long time, and I don't it would be too complicated for a tech person with access to the servers that provide the search capabilities, to set up a filter to pick up domains that they might be interested in.


5:51 pm on Mar 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Yes, if you look up a non-existant domain name too many times, somebody is going to nab it.

Twice I had this happen to me. Guess I'm a slow learner, should have never let it happen the second time.

Now I do all the prelimiary checking by doing a search through all three major search engines for the domain name. Not perfect but better. I had one I was working on that wasn't showing anywhere, it just happened that someone else bought it within the same time period I was looking.

Now I only use whois or registrar lookups when I am ready to buy.


11:09 am on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Seems kinda hard. For this to be plausible, the entity grabbing them would have to be a whois provider or have access to the whois queries. Then they'd need some way of parsing the queries to find worthwhile ones. That's a lot of engineering for probably pretty low returns.


9:16 pm on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I've had this happen to one of my customers, for a totally obscure personal name + surname .com. He had done searches in a fair number of whois services.

His domain was snatched by a company called Belgium Domains (which doesn't offer registratrions to the public!).

I advised him to not query the whois or visit the domain. As I had predicted, they realised it had no traffic and the domain was released before the 5-day period (so the domain Registrar was refunded). My customer was happy to buy it :-)


6:53 pm on Mar 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Never ever happened to me.
I don't think anyone would bother.
I think it is more likely that
your interest in the dom was sparked
by e.g tv, radio, the web,
and you weren't the only one who responded.


12:46 am on Mar 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

...the domain was released before the 5-day period.

I get the feeling this happened to me a couple of days ago. A few hours after searching a registrar and WHOIS for a domain name, a company in US-CA snatched it up!

Any opinions on whether I should wait for the 5-day time period to pass before selecting another domain name?


1:09 am on Mar 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


If you really want this domain then 5 days isn't a long time to sit it out.



4:37 pm on Mar 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I have suspected this as well in the past.

Don't think it would be too hard to do either.


12:54 am on Apr 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I've had this happen to me too, but I just put it down to the possibility of one of the other 6 billion or so people on this planet having a similar idea to me.


4:49 am on Apr 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I hope webwork is ok with this.

Let's all do a whois on zxcobetmitme.com , it is available currently and let's see if it is registered within the next week.
No cheating now, by registering this most valued name please : )

Sweet Cognac

5:17 am on Apr 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I've suspected this myself in the past.

So nowadays I don't try, till I'm ready to buy.


11:36 am on Apr 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

It happened to me :)

I checked it every now and then, just to find out it was booked a couple of weeks later.



12:28 am on Apr 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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

I won't say who or where, but I strongly suspect that there's a person/company/entity that might just be able to do this, and in fact most likely does, IMHO. Don't ask who or what, I won't tell - but I've suspected it for a long, long time.


12:46 am on Apr 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I remember this happened to me a couple of years ago when I was using one site to check a domain availability. Only a minute later, the domain was gone. I later do not use that site to check domain any more.....

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