This past weekend, the DomainTools team ventured to The Great White North (Whistler, B.C. CA) for our annual winter retreat. Whistler is a perfect destination for a team like ours, as it provides a wide variety of recreational activities.
Most people reading this blog are probably aware that Microsoft is force-converting Hotmail users to its new Outlook email service this week. And as many of you know, ‘Hotmail’ is one of the most cybersquatted brands of all-time. With Outlook being an emerging global brand, it provides a good use case for our newly expanded Brand Monitoring service. Granted, Microsoft announced the launch of Outlook.com last August, and that is when most of the aggressive domain registrations likely happened. But as expected, the formal launch of Outlook.com this week has generated a large number of new Outlook-related domain registrations.
DomainTools is well-known for Whois data: whois lookup, whois history, and reverse whois reports. But we also have a lot of other cool products that savvy clients utilize all the time. Many of those products deal with domain names and DNS data, rather than strictly whois data.
Brand Monitor is a perfect example. This product reviews new domain name registrations for brands and trademarks chosen by our clients. Today we are excited to launch a significant expansion to that product, allowing our clients for the first time to monitor their brands across a much larger footprint of TLDs.
The first brand monitoring product we built many years ago only covered the biggest gTLDs with zone files: com, net, org, biz, info and us. Access to zone files allows us to definitively know that a new domain exists. So if Yahoo wants to monitor all the domains that get registered every day with the string ‘yahoo’ in it, they can do so in these TLDs. The counterpoint exists for TLDs (mostly ccTLDs) that do not publish zone files: for example if someone registered ‘yahoostinks.de’, the only groups that would know about that domain registration would be the registrant, the registrar, and DENIC.
Big changes are ahead on the internet. ICANN will be implementing its new gTLD program this Spring (2013) and we can expect to see hundreds of new domain name extensions such as .love, .donuts, .art, .law, .fashion, .games, .tech, .pizza. ninja…well… you get the idea.
There will be new gTLDs for almost any profession, community, service or industry. This change will give businesses and groups a chance to create or extend on and off-line branding beyond the .com constraints.
Businesses will be able to create custom URLs, personalize their business, even link products together. An enterprise name can also become a domain. For example, Heinz could own .ketchup, and Starbucks could own .starbucks and .coffee.
Transformative Digital Products
I have a passion for digital products and their ability to transform how we communicate, how we do business, and even how we live.
Perhaps that’s why I feel a sharp pain in my head every time I see someone print out a web page or an email. It feels like a step backwards, and I can barely resist the temptation to expound on all the wonderful experiences they’re missing by reverting to such arcane practices.
Once, I visited someone in a corporate office whom I had been emailing instructions to. I asked them to please click the link I had included in my last email, and then watched in horror as they pulled down a three-ring binder with printouts of every email I had sent them, organized by date, complete with tabs and color-coded highlighting.
She was very proud; I nearly wept.
And so, it may surprise you that I’ve been one of the most stalwart champions and one of the principal designers of the new Domain Report product that we’re launching today. It certainly surprises me.
Hi, I’m Andrew, and I’ve got a problem. I’m one of two System and Network Admins here at DomainTools and because we’re growing, we have enough work for three! Actually we had enough work for three last year but they wouldn’t let me hire anybody So I thought I’d write a quick blog post with some fun facts about our network and systems, and use it as a plug for a new role we are hiring for at DomainTools.
Providing the services we do requires a major amount work. Gathering the data we do and processing it is a complicated job, and while we’re nowhere near a Google or Facebook, we need a good bit of computing power to handle things. We handle just short of a Terabyte of data per day. This data is pulled in as zone files, whois records, DNS/IP addresses, as well as screenshots and text for websites we know about. This data must then be analyzed in relation to our existing data. To see what’s new, what’s changed, what’s stayed the same, and what has expired.
Ben is the SEO & Analytics Manager for DomainTools. He works closely with everything from Google Analytics and SEOmoz to Adwords and Adzerk. 2012 was a year of massive change in SEO. Google threw the proverbial farm at us with algorithm updates that shook up the landscape and led SEOs to question everything we thought [...]
Thank you to all of you who entered the Santas Favorite Whois contest! Santa had a wonderful time reading all of the entries and drew the following names out of the entry bag. The following three people won a FREE DomainTools Professional membership for one year (or a FREE Professional membership renewal for one year) if he or she is a current DomainTools member):
“DomainTools is one of the critical weapons that we have in combating counterfeiting on the Internet. We use it on a daily basis to monitor domain names and keep track of registrant information.”
Joseph C. Gioconda
Attorney, Counselor at Law and Founder
“Small web professionals need all the help they can get to protect their ideas and future plans on their assets, what better way than to use the awesome Domain Tools to catch up with what other similar sites are doing to protect theirs! Without tools like it its like walking down a blind alley knowing you probably will get mugged.”
“DomainTools is a very valuable service to be because it allows me to do bulk registration lookups and greatly aids me in trying to attribute network based attacks against my customers. I have used your tools for years and find that they are really the only player in this space to date.”
Senior IT Security Instructor/Developer
It’s that time of year again…
Santa would like to give away one of his favorite tools: the DomainTools Pro Membership! Leverage Whois and Hosting History, Reverse IP, Domain Monitor, along with Brand, Name Server, and Registrant Alerts. If you are currently a DomainTools Professional member, we still encourage you to enter to receive a free one year renewal!
One of the DomainTools products that our members depend on most is our Reverse Whois Lookup, which identifies domains owned by a specific company or individual. Longtime members will recall the original ‘Registrant Search’ launch in October of 2007, over five years ago. Today DomainTools announces a significant update to Reverse Whois, focused on the tool’s UI and UX.
There are two main elements to making a powerful research tool. 1. You have to have access to good data.
2. You have to overlay that data with an effective and user-friendly presentation layer. In the direction of #1, over the last five years DomainTools has heavily invested in our market-leading whois data set. In fact, over the last 12 months we have probably made greater progress in data collection and processing than ever before. Much of this happens behind the scenes to our users, however.