WHOIS search explained

Written on 17 February, 2014 by TPP Wholesale
Categories: Domains, General Wholesale | Tags: domains, WHOIS

When you register a domain name for your business website, the registrant is obliged to publish all of the relevant data in a WHOIS database. However, if you want to take advantage of any potential benefits of WHOIS search, it’s best for you to do a little updating and investigating of your own.

WHOIS searches don’t only help you increase visibility for your existing domain, they can stop you from making costly mistakes when registering a new domain name.

What are WHOIS databases?

WHOIS databases are easily searchable lists containing all of the relevant details associated with domain names. As online directories, WHOIS databases, can be searched by the general public and you should always ensure that any listing connected with your domain name has full and correct details including phone, address, email and business organisation information.

Not only is this essential from a practical point of view – your provider may need to contact you in the event of domain expiration, transfer attempts and general domain management – it can also be used as a way to strengthen your site's SEO credentials. If you would prefer your details to remain private, most registrars will offer you the ability to do so through some kind of domain privacy service (usually at a cost).

As well as your business details, the directory will hold other information about your domain name including when it was registered, when it will expire, what the DNS is and who the registrar is. There are also many different WHOIS directories available and it is advisable to check your details on as many as you find readily available.

How WHOIS can affect your search rankings

There are a number of ways that a WHOIS search can make a difference to your rankings. For example, it's possible to use WHOIS to determine the age of your domain – an important metric when it comes to determining the authority of any given site.

Ensuring your full name and business contact details are available on WHOIS registers is also a good way to increase visibility and potentially boost traffic. Including your name on a variety of different registers can be a way to advertise your business and increase your exposure.

The dangers of negative domain associations

It's also essential that when buying a new domain for your site you investigate any associations it may have had in the past. Buying an aged domain that has had previous owners can have a big impact on your future growth. Check the WHOIS records and see if there are any archived and indexed pages on search engines.

Accidentally buying a domain associated with a company that has previously been blacklisted creates an unnecessary complication, so check its origins in both Google and Bing webmaster tools before committing to a new domain.

Understanding how a WHOIS search can impact your business is key to ensuring smooth sailing when it comes to your domain – make sure you're in control of this basic but crucial task.