Patent application describes way to speed up domain lookups.
Domain name registrar GoDaddy (NYSE:GDDY) has filed a U.S. patent application (pdf) for “Determining Status of a Domain Name Registration”.
Yes, we’re talking about figuring out if a domain name is available to register. In fairness, the title of the patent makes it sound simpler than it is. It’s really about reducing the resources required and latency in the process.
First, a registrar can check the domain against a downloaded zone file from the registry. If it’s not on that list, it can then check it against the registrar’s own zone file. If that still doesn’t find a hit, it can do an EPP request to the domain registry. More checks can be done depending on the result. Of course, if it finds a hit at any stage in this process it can determine that the domain is already registered.
I believe that GoDaddy is using locally-stored data like this for initial domain lookups, especially when it provides a list of suggested names that don’t exactly match the domain name searched. When you click on search results it quickly shows a message “Verifying Availability”. Sometimes a message is returned saying it is no longer available.
Chris Ambler, Charles Beadnall and Moninder Jheeta are listed as inventors.