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Do "Whois" services sniff domainsearches?

4:37 pm on Mar 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

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About a month ago I was checking for some domainname via <snip> a service, I didn't register the domain though.

I had found out that the domain was taken very soon afterwards I used a searchquery on their website.

I think there is a good possibility that they take advantage of all the searchqueries they get.. and "hijack" domains, is this legal or not?

[edited by: trillianjedi at 11:51 pm (utc) on Mar. 11, 2006]
[edit reason] Let's not get into specifics please.... [/edit]

5:29 pm on Mar 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The answer depends on a few items, including their terms of service/privacy policies. Who later registered the domain name? Maybe <snip> sells the "not found" information to a 3rd party?

You could use internic.net which is (I believe) a neutral ICANN-related site.


[edited by: trillianjedi at 11:52 pm (utc) on Mar. 11, 2006]
[edit reason] No specifics please. [/edit]

2:44 am on Mar 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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You might want to check out this recent thread in the Domain names forum:


3:32 am on Mar 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Of course it's checked, of course it's tracked .. if you were in that business would you not do the same? of course you would , it's just good business...

Same goes with back orders.. expiring domain tracking etc etc ...

If you want a domain then I'd advice, if it's there buy it, if it's due for re-release then check for it infrequently, judging when it should most likely be available...

That's all you can really do, there are no favours..

4:04 am on Mar 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Thanks encyclo. Wish I had seen that other thread when it was still open for comment. Based on hundreds of domain name checks and whois searches each month, it has never happened to me, so I think it's a random conspiracy. I usually at least sleep on names if not wait for a few days to do more searches and re-thinking.

Seriously - with thousands and tens of thousands of new domains registered each day, I'm sure there are millions of domain name whois checks. Some wired-out over-caffienated domain junky could only do this 16 hours a day and spend the other 8 hours trying to sell what he/she registered. Either they missed me by chance or it's just not a huge threat.

Many, many available names that I logged to "check out again later" were registered afterwards, but it was weeks or months later. And, one set of 2 names that occur 250,000 times in Google serps (1st domain) and 150,000 times (2nd domain) are still available weeks after I first heard them in the news. The names are (subword)+(keyword).com such as BigFosh and LittleFish.

Hmmm... I don't recall seeing in that other thread any mention of our whois checks that resulted in domain names registered just the day before? That would be the "back to the future registrar" conspiracy... I do believe in that one being the biggest threat :)

4:34 pm on Mar 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I've heard this a number of times and you should probably act as if it's true. I'm sure not EVERY domain that a whois is done for gets scooped up, but there may well be a manual check done for promising names by someone who's in a position to see the queries.