Doing in-depth investigation of a web site? Whois.sc offers a wealth of detail about the people and technology behind just about any web site on the planet.
Last month, I reviewed Network Solutions' Enhanced Whois Lookup service. Several astute readers wrote to point out that a service offered by Whois.sc has most of the same features, with a bunch of additional information and tools to boot.
The Whois Source Domain Explorer (click the Domain Explorer tab on the page) lets you search for domain information in several ways. You can enter a full domain (e.g. searchenginewatch.com) or IP address, and you'll get a full domain record. This includes a thumbnail image of the web site, and extensive technical information such as the contents of meta tags, the server software used, and so on.
You can also search using words. Results differentiate between web sites in a number of useful ways, including:
- Registered and Active Website
- Registered and Parked or Redirected
- Registered and No website
- On-Hold (Generic)
- On-Hold (Redemption Period)
- On-Hold (Pending Delete)
- Deleted and Available again
- Never registered before
Whois source offers a number of premium features that can be really useful for SEM related work. These include a whois history that allows you to see historical whois lookups done by users of Whois Source, and a service that finds all domains hosted on an IP address. This tool can help you steer clear of trouble when deciding to host a web site on a shared server -- you'll want to stay away from sites that have had trouble with the search engines in the past.
Be sure also to check out the daily domain statistics page, which shows how many domains are currently registered and how many domains used to be registered but are now deleted.
In all, Whois.sc seems to be about the most all-around useful domain lookup service I've seen yet. Many thanks to the readers who alerted me to this valuable service.
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