How to Use Alerts to Get the Scoop on Your Competitors

| August 25, 2011

Have you ever read a story on news site or blog about how a well-known company is planning a new product or service, which is based on the domain names it has recently registered? Have you ever wondered how the writer came across their information?

Last week, TechCrunch spotted that Google had become the proud owner of Android.me, for example. Gaming blogs were also filled with the news that Activision had registered over a dozen domains related to possible future games in its Call of Duty franchise. The news that Warner Bros is fighting for the domain TheHangover3.com strongly suggests it is planning another movie sequel.

One way to discover this kind of information would be to do a random Whois search every day on the domains you guess a company might want to register. If you have that much time to kill, good luck!

There are quicker ways, fortunately. DomainTools subscribers receive timely data about the companies that interest them, delivered direct to their in-boxes every day, after signing up to one of our suite of domain monitoring tools, such as Registrant Alert.

These tools are not only useful for bloggers or fans of particular brands. If you’re a company in a competitive marketplace, knowing which domain names your rivals are registering or buying could prove to be priceless business intelligence. Registrant Alert quite simply emails you every day with a complete list of the domain names that have just started using your chosen keywords in the Whois record. The alerts cover newly registered domains (such as the Call of Duty domains Activision defensively registered), deleting domains, as well as domains that have changed ownership (such as Android.me).

Registrant Alerts are very easy to set up. If you’ve ever used a Google Alert, it’s just as simple. If you are interested in what Apple has planned, monitoring for “Apple Inc” will alert you whenever the company shows up as the registrant of a domain. Be careful not to be overly broad in your query, if you want to avoid receiving too many false positives.

That’s just one way DomainTools enables you to keep track of what your favorite companies – or your competitors – are doing with domain names. If you are more technically minded, you could use Name Server Alert or one of our other monitoring tools, but I will discuss those in a future post.

Next time, I will look at how companies differ in the timing of their product-related domain name registrations, and why there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy.

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Category: Alerts, Compete, Domain Tools Updates, Domainers, In The News

About the Author ()

Susan is the VP of Partner and Industry Relations at DomainTools. An accomplished domain industry executive, Susan is responsible for leading DomainTools’ business development efforts in the DNS and network security markets. In this role, she is responsible for all Enterprise clients, Reseller partners and Affiliates. Susan plays an integral role at DomainTools, leading thought leadership and participation in important industry working groups such as at ICANN, INTA, IACC and APWG. Susan joined DomainTools in 2007. Prior to DomainTools, she spent 15 years in the DNS and hosting markets, most recently running Client Service and Operations for a fast-growing webhost provider ultimately rolled into what is now Web.com.

Comments (1)

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  1. yofie says:

    Or… they could just read DotWeekly and read about all the domains many of the popular companies/sites register :) J/K

    DotWeekly does use several of the DomainTools.com tools and they work great. Registrant Alert is Awesome and one of a kind from only DT!!!!