by Peter Askew
Here’s a free way to get a sneak peek at a domain owner’s portfolio.
[Editor’s note: Peter Askew writes Domainer’s Gazette. He’s a relative newcomer to the domain industry but has found success. I’m a fan of his blog and writing style, so when he recently approached me about occasionally writing for Domain Name Wire I jumped at the opportunity. Below is his first article; I hope you like it. -Andrew]
“Man, you throw a nickel around like a manhole cover.â€
That comment was tossed onto my brother a few years back, and it’s now bled into me.
Cheap. Penny pinching. Sanford and Son. Call me what you will. But if there’s anything I like to keep my finger on, business-wise, it’s expenses.
And lately, that couldn’t be more true.
Down economy or not, though, I’m still buying names. Some through the drop, some by hand, but a majority have been direct – with end users who happen to own small portfolios.
Portfolio research can be tricky, though.
To perform proper research on a registrant’s portfolio, and uncover names inside a users account, DomainTools offers a powerful tool through Registrant Search. But remember, I’m cheap. And Registrant Search can be expensive (if a lot of names are uncovered). What’s needed is a baby step before a full report purchase. A free taster so to speak.
So, I racked my brain a few weeks back, to create an alternative. One that might provide a glimpse into a registrant’s account, all for free.
And I think I uncovered one…
Introducing â€˜The Poor Man’s Registrant Lookup’. Take a peek inside any domain portfolio, poke around, research, etc. – all for free. No, and let me repeat, No, it won’t reveal an entire stash, but simply provides a neat slice snapshot of currently owned assets, and serves as an appetizer prior to a full report purchase.
How does it work? Well, mainly by leveraging Google. See, DomainTools allows Google to index its whois records. Meaning, if you visit mother Google, perform a “site:” command, along with a registrant’s name (or business name), Google will pump back a snapshot of all the pages within DomainTools matching that query.
Here’s an example – we’ll use good ole Frank as an example (forgive me Frank).
First, I grab the Registrant Name from any Whois search tool. For Frank, I search RumCakes.com. The name listed on the account is â€˜Name Administration Inc.’.
Next, I jump to Google, and perform this search:
site:whois.domaintools.com “Name Administration Inc.â€
That search, in essence, is asking Google, â€˜search this domain, and pull up all results within your index with this quoted name.’
And bingo, Google jumps back and provides a snapshot. In this case, we’re looking at roughly 2,600 results including HealthClaim.com, PlumbingSupplier.com, and ShippingSoftware.com.
Neat stuff (in my opinion).
And fyi, if you encounter Google’s notification : “In order to show you the most relevant results, we have omitted some entries very similar to the 68 already displayed. If you like, you can repeat the search with the omitted results included.â€
Simply click the hyperlink â€˜repeat the search with the omitted results included’, and the rest of the names will appear (sometimes with even more results than originally indicated).
Very neat, however, I didn’t get it to work. I pasted the ‘Frank’ search as you’ve written it but it only returns your orignal post 🙁
Didn’t work for me either.
phillip j. says
Awesome tip here. I ordered a registrant search once from Domain Tools on Aarol Wall of SeoBook. It was mainly old junk websites he started but there was definitely some insight and things to learn.
There was a minor error in the search query. the ‘s’ in Site needs to be lower case, not upper case. I’ve fixed this in the post…try it now.
Peter Askew says
hmm.. seems wordpress is is altering the ‘quote’ keystroke..
site:whois.domaintools.com “Name Administration Inc.”
or if that doesn’t work, remove the quotes that you cut and paste, and hand type those in.. it should work after that..
I’v been something very similar for a while now which can sometimes show far more results.
I don’t think this is really a good thing for some people to know how to do.
Too many scammers about, I did try and moan about it to domaintools but he does’nt seem to give a toss.
I would think he’s breaking a few rules concerning peoples privacy by having so much info splattered all over Google.
Also, if you have the Google toolbar you can just plug in the registrant’s name while you’re on whois.domaintools.com and select the “Search Site” option.
Rob Sequin says
VERY cool and cheap.
Certainly doesn’t give you any where near the whole portfolio but does give a good sample as you suggest.
Thanks for the article.
Nice :). I wonder why Google won’t index them all with the same owner name.
Neat though, snoop around. But still no good if privacy proxy is used
oh,Didn’t work for me…:(
Cool! got it to work now. If you add (BVI) to the end of “Name administration Inc.” you get 17,000 results 🙂
i like how you think… but, it didn’t work for me 🙁
Alas, this didn’t really work. I was after somebody with eight domains and none turned up. Of my few hundred, only about six turned up.
Great idea – but we need to find a better way.
Lu Hulu says
Does not work for me at all. Looks like it work on what google crawls and obviously google does not crawl everything. i am beginning to find google search irritating and lack focus. You search for something and it throws you with all sorts of other sites. The worse of google search is when it shows what you looking for in its abstract but when you go to the site, it is something else all together. Google sucks.
Lu Hulu says
I did not mince my words and rightly so.
Don Tetreault says
Thank you for the great tip. This proved to be very useful and cost effective for a one-time search!