Why to Use WHOIS Database for Marketing Research

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Every domain legally registered with ICANN for use on the Internet has a record in the WHOIS database; By querying the WHOIS database, you can obtain property information and related details from other websites. As part of your strategic marketing efforts for your private practice, from time to time you may research competitor websites or other websites that are relevant to your work for any reason.

Maybe someone writes to you asking for a link to their website, and you’re wondering who’s behind it… or you just look at another website you like (or don’t like) and want to know more about it. If you want proprietary information or details related to these other websites, you should check the WHOIS database that registrars like Network Solutions collect when you register a domain name.

Why use the WHOIS database for market research?

WHOIS and the domain name ecosystem

The root of the Domain Name System is administered by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN (1)). It operates a dedicated website (2) where you can find very detailed information on WHOIS, including its history and planned future, a glossary of related terms, description of related policies and technology.

On the Internet, devices have a unique identification number, currently the IPv4 address. To find the way to the devices, these numbers are assigned a name. The names are organized hierarchically in domains. The mapping between names and IP addresses is the Domain Name System (DNS), which is implemented by a distributed network of domain name servers. These servers work with zones, which are often single-domain subsets of the hierarchical domain name structure. Information about a zone is contained in so-called zone files.

Domain branding and marketing research

Most business activity takes place on the World Wide Web, even among traditional companies. Therefore, the ability to find a company in cyberspace is perhaps the most important prerequisite for a successful business. Of course, it is important that the domain name is easy to remember, just like the company name itself. But how does a potential customer find a company? Usually through a search engine like Google. And here, the domain name is perhaps even more important than the company name.

In all search engines, the domain name plays a crucial role in evaluating the relevance of a website for the search query at hand. And the goal of the company is, of course, to maximize this possibility. This is known as search engine optimization (SEO). Boosting SEO requires a well-chosen domain name. There are many guides that describe how to do it right, see for example (4). There can be many psychological, economic and sociological considerations behind a good choice.

economic research

Until now, we have focused on practical marketing activities. However, analysis of WHOIS data can also lead to relevant scientific results. In the field of business research, there are a large number of scientific publications in which WHOIS data has been used. For example, as competing companies engage in SEO and manage their websites accordingly, WHOIS data contains information about the structure of corporate dynamics.

Given a WHOIS database of a certain size, techniques can be developed to extract the data using various data mining techniques. Applicable techniques may include graph-theoretic approaches, heuristics, machine learning, and various types of dynamic analysis. Of course, such approaches require a structured WHOIS database as a base.

Computer security: practical

Cybersecurity professionals are constantly facing new challenges. For example, several new types of attacks have emerged in recent years that cannot be combated with “traditional” approaches, such as firewalls. Malicious actors often collect data through phishing or other methods based on a distributed attack from many sources, targeting the infrastructure of a company or organization. The only way to detect or prevent these types of attacks is through the use of fraud intelligence.

For example, in a phishing email campaign, attackers send emails to addresses from multiple domains to the accounts of the target entity with the goal of obtaining sensitive data. These emails often contain addresses of malicious websites that allow data collection or contain viruses to distribute to the client’s machine. Detecting these types of attacks requires a special approach. And this is where WHOIS data is crucial.

In a proper database, you can find malicious domains that have a short lifespan and are registered by a specific subset of companies to host malicious websites and send phishing emails. Analysis of large amounts of WHOIS data with special techniques can clearly reveal the activities of malicious actors.

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staffhttps://www.bollyinside.com
The Bollyinside editorial staff is made up of tech experts with more than 10 years of experience Led by Sumit Chauhan. We started in 2014 and now Bollyinside is a leading tech resource, offering everything from product reviews and tech guides to marketing tips. Think of us as your go-to tech encyclopedia!

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