Today we release a preview of a very important and distinct product for DomainTools: the DomainTools Marketplace. It offers an integrated experience to discover domains to buy or register with a clean interface, easy-to-use filters, and a super-fast search engine.
As the leading provider of Whois data worldwide, DomainTools gets an enormous amount of traffic from people interested in a domain’s ownership, often because they are trying to buy the domain. We’ve had connections to major domain sales platforms for years, but the search functionality was fragmented across several products. If you searched for domains about “coffee” (something I have become notorious for during these last few weeks of testing!), you had to search twice, once in our “For Sale” product and again in the “Auction Search” product. Worse, not all sources were linked to those products, so if you found a domain for sale on our Whois page and wanted to find others like it, you were often unable to do so.
In the new Marketplace, all the domains we know of from major sales platforms are aggregated together and accessible from a single search. And not just for-sale domains, but also expiring domains, domains at discrete auctions, and even available domains – a topic I’ll touch on shortly.
Of course, simply mashing together nearly 20 million domain sales listings in a table and sticking a search box on it doesn’t solve anyone’s problems, and it sure won’t be fast. Our back-end engineers used new technology they’d been researching to help structure and index the data while our front-end team applied several patterns and techniques that make parsing that much data usable and even fun.
The result is a very responsive search interface that shows the result of your filter changes in near-real-time, a search box that sends results without you hitting “enter”, and a quick way to preview domain details without losing context.
Give it a try — we think you’re going to like it.
If you look carefully, you’ll see something special tucked in with the listings: a shiny new domain suggestions algorithm.
DomainTools was one of the first companies to introduce a useful suggestions engine, which we referred to as the Name Spinner, nearly a decade ago and we felt it was time for an update. In the Marketplace, we’re experimenting with a different semantic approach to surface good domains for a user to register. We haven’t retired the old name spinner yet, and there’s even a third generation already in the works. We’d love to get your feedback on how the new Marketplace spinner compares.
Our user research (yes, we interviewed real people!) uncovered an interesting trend: plenty of people know you can register a domain name, but they are almost completely unaware of the secondary market. Surprisingly, it’s not the price that’s keeping them away. They usually have a few hundred dollars, or maybe a bit more, to spend on the right domain name, but they don’t know what to buy or where to find it. Even those who found their way to the popular domain sales platforms were confused or intimidated by what they saw. They abandoned the process and resigned themselves to a sub-par domain name.
The DomainTools Marketplace will change that.
The same users also told us they needed a reliable way to find the “best” domains without paging through hundreds of results. That’s a daunting challenge: “best” is a wildly subjective term, especially in the domain space. Valuation tools can give some context to help rank domains (or not!), but domain valuation is still more art than science even to this day. Instead, DomainTools built an algorithm against our internal data sets to create a logarithmic “score” for domain names. We even managed to score domain suggestions, something most valuation tools do not currently do.
Overall, we’re excited and proud of what our engineering and business teams have conceived and delivered. This is the first product of its kind built from the ground up for people who have little or no experience buying domains in the aftermarket. It represents the first of many products we plan to build that will expand our reach to a broader, more global audience.
Although we purposely built this product to appeal to less-sophisticated users, there’s no doubt the readers of this blog could create a very long list of useful advanced features. For now, though, our focus is to get the basics right and work out the kinks.
We can’t wait to hear what you think of it!
Share your 5-star feedback on Marketplace with us now through Friday, April 13, and you will be eligible for a $50 DomainTools add-on credit or some DomainTools swag!
Email your feedback to mpfeedback@DomainTools.com to qualify.
Category: Domain Tools Updates