5 Ways to Choose a Domain if Your Top Choice is Taken


You’ve analyzed your great idea from top to bottom, worked through your business plan and are finally ready to take the leap and launch your new business.

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Registering a New Domain? Better Research Its History

Thinking of registering a new domain name? One thing that people often forget to do, is to research the history of the domain name. I recently attended SMX West and Duane Forrester from Bing gave an example of a large company that had been complaining, a lot, that Bing was blocking their domain for no reason.

Domain Name Image

Turns out, Bing was blocking their domain, but it wasn’t because of things that the company was doing. The domain was being blocked because what had been done with the domain before the company owned it. The previous owners had been distributing Malware and Bing had, indeed, blocked it.

How can you learn about the history of a domain before you purchase one? There are a few red flags to look for. If you find a domain that seems almost too good to be true, it probably is. If the domain is cheap and a good one, chances are pretty high that it is cheap for a reason. Research is very important when buying a new domain name. You can use the trusty Way Back Machine to see what the domain has looked like in the past few years. You can also use the Domain Tools Whois History to see the ownership history and blacklist history.

The last thing you want when starting a new website is to be excluded from the SERP for reasons uncontrolled by you. Also be sure to follow our 6 tips for choosing the right domain name.

Have you ever registered a domain name only to find out later that it had been used inappropriately before? What did you do to resolve the issue?

DNS, What???

More often than not, when I tell people what the company that I work for does, they look at me with a blank stare and a trivial look on their face and say DNS, What… They still seem utterly confused after I try to explain what DNS is and how they are most likely using it everyday.  These people usually just pretend like they get it and walk away, but do they really get it and what’s so hard to “get”?

We have touched on what DNS is quite a few times, but we still get the inevitable comments on surveys and blog posts that people are still very confused.  One person actually compared DNS to buying a bottle of air, open it and there is nothing inside, but that couldn’t be further from the truth!

DNS redirects an IP address, to a static domain name.  So if you want to visit www.no-ip.com, you type the domain name into your browser, not the IP address.  If not for DNS, you would have to remember every IP address of every website! With over 300 million websites on the web, remembering every IP address would be utterly impossible, well unless maybe you’re Kim Peek: The Real Rain Man.

In addition, the transition to IPv6 will make remembering IP addresses even harder! IPv6 addresses are 128 bits long compared to 32 bits of Ipv4 addresses.

They look something like this: 2001:db8:0:1234:0:567:8:1. That’s a lot if numbers to remember! (I can barely remember my phone number!)

So, next time someone asks you, WHAT the heck is DNS?! You can tell them that it is indeed more than just bottle air.  It makes visiting websites by a domain name, possible!

Have you ever had someone look at you confused when you mention DNS? Also, if you like this article, be sure to share it with your friends via Facebook and Twitter!