How to check domain history before buying a domain [2022]

Whether you’re an entrepreneur, business owner, or just a casual internet historian, it can be helpful to know exactly how to delve into the history of a domain name – something that sounds more complicated than it actually is. Just by entering a domain name in a text box, you can get a lot of information very quickly. Learn more about how it works and how to find your domain history for free.

note: If you came across this article by chance while trying to figure out what domain names are and what they actually do, we also have a guide for thatas well as one for how to register a domain for yourself.

Why you can view domain history

The history of a domain name offers a lot of information that cannot be obtained simply by browsing an existing website.

Competition research

You can learn a lot about your competitors by looking at the history of their domain and website. How long has it been? Has the domain been sold before? How much did it cost? The answers to these questions can give you a great idea of ​​the value of a particular domain.

From there you can start developing your own marketing and SEO strategies, taking into account the strengths and weaknesses of the competition.

Buying an aftermarket domain

Maybe you want to buy a specific domain for yourselfbut you know that the one you mean is used. Viewing the history of this domain can tell you what reputation the domain has in search engines and email services (which can affect the openness of your site and your communication accordingly).

Purchase an existing website

You may be planning to buy an entire website. By looking at the history of the website that is for sale, you can get a clear look at its past popularity, the number of times it has been sold, and whether people have had a good experience with this domain in the past.

Contact the site owner

There are times when filling out contact forms on a website leads to a lack of response. If you need to establish direct contact with the website owner – whether it’s buying a domain or just getting information about the product you ordered from them – delving into the history of the domain can help you determine the right contact.

Ensuring security

Viewing the history of a domain name can help uncover scammers, spammers and scammers. If you are planning to do business with a company and you have questions about their business practices, take a look at their domain to see if their website is linked to any news of fraud or excessive marketing efforts.

How to find domain history using WHOIS

An important tool in the history of domain names is the WHOIS search. In short, WHOIS is a system for finding information about the owner of any domain name. By default, each domain name is automatically associated with the full name and contact information of the owner.

You can also find out in which company the domain is registered, which can help in resolving disputes related to the domain. (By the way, if you want to buy a domain after you’re done here, check out this list best domain registrars.)

There are two main types of WHOIS search: basic search for information on nuts and bolts and search for history, which provide more detailed information. A basic A WHOIS search will only show you the current status of the domain where it is registered, to which server it is directed, and other relevant information related to where it is currently located. WHOIS history the search, meanwhile, will show you all this information, but will also show you everything the past registrars, servers and owners.

Basically, every major domain name change is tracked in the history of WHOIS, and you can see everything with the right tools.

How to perform a basic WHOIS search

A basic WHOIS search will only show you the current domain status, but this is a useful start. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Find the WHOIS search service

You can quickly and easily search for current property data here on Shopify.

Step 2: Enter the domain name in the search box

For this tutorial, we chose manitobah.com, an online store that sells Canadian indigenous design shoes.

Step 3: Check the results

These results show the current status / registrar of manitobah.com, as well as the date of creation of the domain, the name servers to which it is connected, and additional information that you can see in the screenshot.

Search for a domain using Shopify

How to find the history of the WHOIS domain

Finding the history of WHOIS requires a similar process. Try using whoisrequest.com for simple searches and Whoxy.com if you need more advanced information. DomainIQ also offers some nice reports.

note: WhoisRequest.com offers only 10 free searches a day, but has the simplest interface. Whoxy.com offers an unlimited number of free searches and charges a fee only if you want to integrate its service into your own app.

DomainIQ unfortunately only offers one free domain search per day. So if you indeed want to have a nice report for one specific domain, use domainIQ to get it credited.

Here is the process:

Step 1: Go to the site of your choice

Here are some simple links directly to history search options:

Step 2: Enter the domain name

View the history of domainIQ WHOIS

Step 3: Check the information

DomainIQ domain history information

This particular domain had only one owner, so that’s all that’s shown here. This screenshot from Whoxy for cars.com, on the other hand, shows several different owners in the domain history:

domain ownership record

You can use the Wayback Machine as an alternative

The Wayback Machine this is a project from the online archive. An online archive is, as you might have guessed, an attempt to archive literally everything on the Internet, including older versions of websites. The Wayback Machine was designed to shoot “snapshots”. completely websites at regular intervals. It won’t show you updates every day (and some old websites look completely wrong), but it remains the single best visual story of virtually every website.

You can use these older versions of websites to find content that is no longer there, which may include contact information that may still be valid. You can also see if the domain has been used by the same people / company, or it has changed hands several times over the years.

For example, take this online store, manitobah.com. Here’s what it looks like at the time of this writing:

Site manitobah muklukus

And that’s what it looked like on November 18, 2018, this is the earliest shot of a website that really works.

Domain reverse snapshot machine

How does it help me? Well, I see that a few years ago the domain used the same business. In addition, the old version of the site has some historical information that is not on the new – or at least it is not easy to find, such as the address of the headquarters of production on the Contact page.

How to Search Wayback Machine

Step 1: Go to archive.org

online archive

In particular, go to web.archive.orgwhere you can easily search for the right domain. You can also manually save pages and sites here to create a record for the future.

Step 2: Find the domain you want to verify

Domain Search Archive

Step 3: Select a snapshot from the calendar

domain pictures

Step 4: Find the information you are looking for.

Other tools and tips

Apart from a dedicated researcher, there are a few simple and (mostly) free things you can do to analyze your domain history.

(For starters here is a guide to how to choose a domain name.)

Start with Google (or your favorite equivalent)

You will find a lot of necessary information just by google (or use the search engine of your choice). If a domain has a significant past, you’ll probably find mentions of it in reviews, website comment sections, forums, and anywhere else where people are going to share their opinions.

Check out their social media

You can also search for domains on social networking sites such as Twitter, directly to see what attention the site has attracted and what people think of it. Direct search on these sites is especially useful because not all of them make user posts available to search engines.

Ask in the appropriate communities

If the domain you want to acquire is part of an industry that many are talking about, there are probably certain communities for that industry. Not all of them will also be easy to search.

Find the right Discord or Slack server and look at personal and virtual meetings for your industry. Just ask people what they think of the domain in question and gather their answers.

Look for a domain in Moz Domain Analysis

Domain analysis Moz is a free tool that ranks domain names based on a number of metrics including traffic, backlinks and various SEO checks. It then gives the domain two very important ratings: the authority of the domain and the score for spam.

Domain credibility is a general indicator of how likely a website is to rank high in search engines based on the reputation of its content. The higher the score, the better.

Spam scores are exactly what you think, and the lower the score, the better.

And last but not least, check the backlinks of the website

With the help of backlinks you can find reviews about the site (positive and negative). If most of the backlinks come from social media, it could have implications for your social media marketing strategy and show you what individual customers think about the company. You can also evaluate the SEO potential of a domain by seeing how many top links come from search engines.

Two tools that will allow you to see top backlinks for any domain or subdomain are the platforms of SEO and tracking the interaction of SEMRush and Ahrefs. (note: You will only be able to see the top 100 backlinks for free.)

Knowledge of the history of domain names is a force

Although researching the history of domain names can be time consuming, it provides a lot of useful and important information – usually for free.

Even if you can’t find the contact information of the current domain owner, you can appreciate how popular the site has been, what content it has had over the years, and whether it has a good digital or human reputation.

This knowledge is useful to you if you are buying a domain for your business, researching competitors or just looking for ways to improve your own website.

https://www.shopify.com/blog/domain-history How to check domain history before buying a domain [2022]

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