Searching for Registered Domain Names

October 11, 2010, 11:12 AM

If you have registered a domain name in the last few years, you may have used a Whois lookup service to determine whether a certain domain name is available for registration. Many websites offer such service for free and provide instantaneous results on domain name availability along with ownership information for registered domain names. For example, you could go to http://whois.domaintools.com or http://www.whois.com and determine whether a domain name is available.

As use of social media continues to expand, owning a domain name is only one way to market on the internet. In addition to registering domain names, companies are setting up Twitteraccounts, YouTube accounts, and Facebook pages to market their goods and services. With this continued focus on social media, a website has popped up which allows you to enter your trademark and check whether it is available as a user name on the top 50 social networks. Such searches are free and almost instantaneous at http://www.usernamecheck.com.

By running these two quick searches above, you can determine whether anyone has registered a potential domain name and whether anyone is using your trademark as a user name on a social network.--Kristan B. Burch