Patents reflect techniques for better targeting domain name search results.
GoDaddy has filed three patents for targeted domain name search results based on the user’s location or business type.
Two of the patent applications were filed in August 2013, and the third (continuation) patent (embedded below) was filed in September 2014. All three applications were published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office today.
The patents explain methods of determining the location, language and business type of a user, and then targeting both top level domain names and second level domains to that person.
For example, GoDaddy might determine the most popular TLDs based on the type of company (for-profit, non-profit etc) and location, then show search results keyed to this popularity:
Results might also be based on historical registration data based on the business industry:
Location and category data can be combined, and GoDaddy would use domain registration data to determine which domain names to show. Here’s a hypothetical chart showing registration data for a search flr “bicicletta” and “negozio” for someone in Italy:
The patent explains numerous ways the registrar can collect location, language and business data about searchers.
While location determination is a fairly straight forward practice, business categorization by a registrar is a bit more novel.
The registrar might look at one of the customer’s websites and see that it has keywords that are commonly found on the web pages of online bike shops. The registrar then might be able to infer that the customer’s business is a bike shop.
Or, if a customer is constructing a website and selected a website template often associated with particular types of businesses, the selection of those templates may be used to infer that the user’s business belongs in a particular category, e.g. a small law firm.
GoDaddy GM and SVP of Domains Mike Mclaughlin explained some of these search targeting techniques on Domain Name Wire Podcast #16.
The patents list James Carroll (EVP of International), Takao Suzuki (Senior Product Manager) and Arnold Blinn (Chief Architect) as inventors.