Domaining gets a pretty bad reputation. And I can understand why – you dont need to be a rocket scientist to figure out how dodgy some domainers are. But on the other hand, buying and selling domains, speculating or testing keyword rich domains are part and parcel of the web.
If you are into Black Hat SEO, or into Affiliate Marketing, domain purchasing is potentially a daily business. I am not going to go into the merits or issues with buying keyword rich domains for either SEO or black hat purposes, nor will I discuss why affiliates need these tools. Any smart SEO will own at least a few gems in their life, either for profit or for fun. What I would like to share is two absolutely awesome Firefox powered tools that can really ease the domain discovery process.
Ever read a phrase online and think: “that would make a great domain name”? Domain Lookup is a Firefox extension that helps you discover desirable domain names while surfing the web.
Domain Lookup offers three ways to search for domains in your browser:
- Contextual Search
- ‘Server Not Found’ lookup
- Search Box lookup
Not only that, it also has over 60 domain registrars plugged in and ready to go. I think that one of the reviews of the extension pretty much covers it:
You just have to love this tool if you are a domainer – find a phrase, right click, buy! Does it get easier than that?
Take for example, I am reading a news story about an upcoming Disney Film, The Princess and The Frog, and my affiliate hat says “hmm there could be potential in an affiliate site for DVD’s, toys and stuff related to the film. Wonder if the domain is available? ” So all I do is select the text, and right click. Presto! A new tab appears with my chosen domain registrar, running the domain lookup.
The other really useful feature is being able to grab domains that may not exist, but have a link to. While you are running through your normal browsing behaviour and follow a link, what would be your response if you see a “server not found” message? If it’s from a really good website, I would probably be tempted to grab that domain if available. This happens more often than you think – when common misspells find themselves linked to, without a website available. With Domain Lookup, you have the option to check immediately if the domain is available.
Domains By Volume
Although Domain Look up is pretty cool in its own right, its a tool intended for single domain research. Sometimes a guy just cant get enough and wants to grab loads of domains at one go. Or wants to know what the keyword volume potential is.
Domains By Volume is a Greasemonkey Script that was built to finally simplify the process of finding keyword based domain names. Built as an add-on to Google’s Keyword Tool that is used by so many to find relevant keywords and their associated search volume.
In essence, check for .com/.net/.org availability in real-time while on GKT, with the capability to register at either GoDaddy or NameCheap. Installation is pretty straight forward. Once you have, you should be able to see the Domain Look up options on the Google keyword tool:
I dont think I have to explain the benefits of the tool for a real domainer – this is keyword research domaining on steroids to be perfectly honest. On the fly potential of a keyword rich domain saves me the extra step of jumping to my registrar to see if its available.
As you can see with the demo below, I managed to find a pretty interesting domain based on my parent query “Disney”.
My Poor Wallet
The two tools have a few known issues, but both Quality Nonsense (Domain Lookup) and Oliver (Domains By Volume) are nice guys who I have spoken to, and have further plans to develop the tools with additional features. For example, Domains by volume will soon support more registrars and other popular TLDs. I think Oliver is also working on a fix for running searches for “Exact Match” which seems to be a bit buggy at the moment.
Between the two scripts, it’s pretty easy to identify domains that are available while you are web browsing or researching keywords. I think by already deflated wallet is going to painfully decline further while accelerating my ever growing inventory of domains…
If you are interested in Domaining news, ideas and potentials, I think Domaining MindMap is a pretty useful site.
You ought to checkout Awesome SEO Tools for other useful SEO/Affiliate Tool reviews.
Rishi Lakhani is an independent Online Marketing Consultant specialising in SEO, PPC, Affiliate Marketing and Social Media. Explicitly.Me is his Blog. Google Profile