One of the biggest areas I have worked to grow my expertise and portfolio is in securing both new and expired domains. I have admit I have bought a number of domains on the spur of the moment and regretted it at a later stage I still find it a much under appreciated area of online marketing. I have listed 5 great platforms that I have had others recommend or I use on a daily basis to grow my domain property portfolio.
One of the fellow guest stay on search contributors Kristi Hines in her recent SEJ recommended a new platform DomainsBot but I haven’t used before. After spending sometime looking at it’s features and advanced search options DomainsBot is a fairly decent platform. The reasons are that DomainsBot is unique as it’s one of the few that offers a fairly wide global reach for finding a great domain name amoung a number of popular domain extensions and some great advanced search options.
Advanced Domain Search Options include:
- Add Synonym
- View Only Extensions: Com,Net,Org,Co,Info,Biz,Us,Mobi,Me,Asia
- Status: Available,Expiring,For Sale
- Include: Hyphens,Numbers,Related,Compound,Variation,BadWords
- Language: Auto, English, German, Italian, Spanish, French, Portuguese
Limitations of the DomainsBot platform is that while it offers .me and .asia domain extensions it does not support these language sets. One other area would be appreciated if they could expand the number of extensions supported to include AU,UK and EU domains.
One of the largest domain platforms Sedo also offers some features for those looking to secure a decent domain from their huge database of listings. The downside is that their domain search platform is heavily focused on direct domain sales and their auction platform but also suggests those that are still available to be registered so not all is lost.
Advanced Domain Search Options include:
- Extensions: upto 420
- Languages: English,Spanish,French,German
- Domain Length: All, upto 12 characters and over 12 characters
- Number of Words: all, upto 5 words, over 5 words
- Price range: EUR,USD,GBP
- Categories:Top level, level 1, level 2
- Date Added
- Listing Type: buy now, negotiable, marketplace, auction
- Special characters: hyphens,digits,IDN domains
- Domains/Websites: domains,websites,both
- Safe Search: off,on
Being one of the largest domain registrars offers them the ability to have the largest range of domain extensions. The limtations are the overly complex search functions, confusing menu structures and an inability to catch dropped/expired domains.
One of the newer platform that requires a monthly subscription to make full use of their service is FreshDrop, the free version is great but you need to experience it’s full potential. The interesting aspect of their domain search platform is the hourly scans of the domain registrars.
Supported Domain Registrars you can search include
The only issue that the domain while appearing to be very powerful is a little technical and may not be suitable for new enterants to the domain market. It’s one of the only platform that has a wonderful tour feature that explains all the functionality and features available to find domains.
One of the most power platforms is Domain Tools Monitor, I have been using for a number of years to monitor both my own domains, those I have a vested interest in and those belonging to clients. One of the key aspects of staying on top of domains is using automated domain monitoring tools where possible.
Some of the cool features that you might want to checkout include
- Registrant Alert – monitor whois record for any newly registered, renewed or deleted
- Name Server Alert – monitor daily activity on all major TLDs on any name server with fewer than 50,000 domains whenever there is a new domain added or a domain deleted
- Trademark Alert – monitor activity on your alert word or string of words and be notified when they are about to be registered or deleted
- Domain Monitor – advises of expiration dates, status changes or updates to Whois records
One of the other features to use platforms like DomainTools is to check the Whois details on the domain due to drop to understand more about who owned the domain, what was the site profile, other matching general TLDs and some details on what other domains they own.
One of the platforms i’ve been testing is NetFleet Alerts which mostly focuses on AU domains but allows me to automatically monitor both domains listed for sale and domains due to expire/drop. Their free keyword alert service sends me an email alerts when a domain matches the industry, market or niche that i’m monitoring.
The domain alert settings require
- Keyword or domain names monitored
- Alert type: standard, expired aftermarket
- Notification frequency: daily, weekly
The limitations of the platform is that the automatic classification of the domain niche is not always accurate, but the ease at which you can quickly scan the notification is brilliant.
Go out and start building your portfolio
My best piece of advice is it’s a great idea to try and pick a platform that works for you but if you centralise your domain purchases with one registrar to get a bigger discount. To ensure fail safes are in place always use more than one monitoring platform where possible and ideally pick a solution for it’s strengths. I hope all these suggestions and platforms makes it easier for you to start expanding your domain portfolio.