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Domain Name Suggestion Tool – DomainBot

I’ve been working on some ideas for new blogs over the past 2 weeks and as part of the exercise I’ve been looking at choosing domain names. Of course looking for a domain name can be a frustrating business – you know what you want but the chances are that it’s already taken as a .com and probably most of the other extensions also.

You can spend endless hours typing random names into domain search tools and come up with very little.

Surely there is a better way?

Luckily a year or so back someone pointed me to DomainsBot which is a domain suggestion tool. You simply type in the key word or words that you want to be in your domain and it comes back to you with a variety of combinations of available domains using that combination of words (and if you like synonyms of the words). The results of this come with a suggested ranking.

I know there are other similar tools out there but for some reason I keep coming back to this one. How have you come up with your blog’s name or domain?

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Fintan says:

    I named by web service after my beloved Dog, Buster.

    Awww.

  2. Deb says:

    I’ve used Name Boy (nameboy.com). This is the first I’ve heard of DomainsBot.

  3. Tim Flight says:

    I’ve used DomainsBot as well. I normally discard the synonyms it suggests, however it is good at varying the order of keywords, adding dashes, searching different extensions, etc. It found for me what should have been an obvious domain to check for, but I hadn’t thought of it yet and it was nearly perfect. So I’ve now got GPS Review running.

  4. Jon says:

    Here’s another tool that I use for domains: http://www.whois.net/searchD.cgi2?as=1
    It allows you to search all expired domains.
    There are two advantages: 1. You may find a domain that has been registered previously [this is good since SEO is affected by age of the domain, not to mention stuff like bookmarked traffic and archive and dmoz entries].

    2. Since you are searching on actual domain names you can enter in “business” and get back a list of all domain names [usually thousands for any keyword] that have the term in them [you can specify having your keyword on the left, right or anywhere]. This method has helped me find keyword combinations that I never would have thought of.

  5. Avoid expired domain names. They seem to cause endless troubles with Google. I’ve just finished mirroring one of my blogs back onto a sub-domain because I can’t get indexed in Google on its new domain.

    Googlebot visits (and has done so daily for the last 2 months) but won’t index. The problem, it was an expired domain and so I’m stuck in one of Googles many little traps to be released when they see fit.

    Expired domain names aren’t worth the trouble.

  6. Jon says:

    Eoghann, I think that’s a bit of an over-generalization. There are many reasons for Googlebot’s strange behaviours and the expired domain name is only one possibility.

    But you do raise a good point and that is I always go over to http://www.archive.org/web/web.php and make sure the domain you’re buying hasn’t been a link farm or spam site.

    If you’re lucky it was a “real” site and then it is all good.

  7. Frank Pape says:

    I was caught in that trap myself. I’d used a domain without realizing it had been expired for some time, only to be stuck with a PR0 and no search engine traffic. I eventually used the wayback machine (linked above from Jon) and found it had been a spam entry page site. It was a waste of quite a bit of effort.

  8. Actually this particular one wasn’t even a spam site (or at least there’s no record of it having been so). In fact there’s no record of it ever having been anything.

    Googlebot itself is not behaving strangely. Its doing nightly visiting just like it did for the blog before I moved it in the first place. The blog previously had a page rank of 5 and was well listed with hundreds of pages in Google. It now is not listed at all. No page rank, not even pulled up by a site: search.

    The only change was to move it to its own domain. One which did not have any obvious history of having been blacklisted. Never the less there is plenty of annecdotal evidence that Google applies penalties of various degrees to all expired domains for some unknown length of time.

    Given that there’s really no way to know for certain how Google will respond when you re-activate an expired domain (spam or otherwise) I still say they aren’t worth the trouble. It takes some major links from big sites to make up for the lack of indexing in Google.

    In the mean time I’ve restored my original version of the blog at its old url and I’ll keep the new site as a mirror until I pass whatever threshold Google has set to get the domain re-indexed.

  9. Jon says:

    Eoghann,

    I’ve done a bit of digging and you definitely aren’t alone in being de-indexed due to an expired domain. Apparently the purpose was to prevent folks from buying domains just for the PR value, but it seems to be blocking more than intended.

    Here’s a thread from Webmaster world: http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum3/24863.htm

    The person eventually got relisted by emailing Google and asking for re-evluation of their site:
    “It may have a normal expired domain penalty which may last upto 12 months or there may be a penalty attached to the domain.Either way you could try email [email protected] with “reinclusion request” in the subject line and explain the details. “

  10. Pat says:

    Fintan — funny, I named my blog after my dog too. I was looking for a name that had “dog” in it. I couldn’t find anything good. My dog’s name is Shelley, also pretty meaningless. I finally decided on “doggiewoggie” because that’s a nickname I use for my dog, and people recognize it as being about dogs. Everyone who has heard it says they really like it.

    As for the expired domain name problem, I never thought about that! I checked the wayback machine, and my domain was purchased but never actually used. I guess it expired sometime in 2004. I hope it will not be a problem.

  11. Rebecca says:

    Darren,

    We’re thrilled to see you’ve been using the domainsbot name suggestion tool.

    To the poster who said they often reject the synonyms suggested — we’ve been doing a lot of fine-tuning of the synonyms, as well as the functionality of the site, so please do check it out again!

    As for expired domains, I was recently at a domain name conference where many attendees were concerned about being able to learn the full history of an existing or expired domain they were purchasing. The archive site is good for part of the picture of the history of a name, but currently there seems to be no way to find out exactly how that domain might be penalized by Google. One suggestion: when buying an expired domain, register it for the longest term you can. Google rewards domains with long registration periods as more “legitimate” so it may be a way to counter-balance any sketchy history.

    - rebecca
    http://www.domainsbot.com

  12. Witold says:

    You may also visit http://www.dotcenter.com. We have nice database of expired domains and domains offered for sale. This is one place where you can search over offers from SEDO, Afternic, BuyDomains and many others. Updated daily. There are many search conditions implemented like TLD, name length, numbers and dashes included/excluded etc.

  13. Kim says:

    Any idea why SEO tools that display domain age do not work with my site http://www.cypruspropertyvillas.com/

    ???

    eg try http://www.webconfs.com/domain-age.php

    They all say “unable to determine”

  14. Neeraj says:

    Thanks for the great info Darren. Actually i have spent a lot of time searching for a good domain name on godaddy. But it never gave good suggestion and one thing more, once i selected one domain and thought that i will take it the next day, but on the next day i came to know that it has been reseved by godaddy itself. That made me mad, my all hard work went in vain and godaddy had the fruit

  15. does anyone know how or where to get the code to check a website domain age.

  16. bill says:

    Domain Name Checker is a feature-packed, convenient and fast domain checker that finds attractive domain names for your personal or business Web site and manages them.

    http://www.yaodownload.com/web-authoring/site-management/domain-name-checker/

  17. bpo says:

    Hi

    i find domainbot is not working any more there parkerd the domain , but there service i really love it

  18. Victor says:

    I’ve used http://www.makewords.com to create new names. It has tons of advanced features like dictionary integration and combined affixes etc.

  19. Chetan says:

    Actually it has made a rule of compulsory sign in after 5 page loads as a guest i suppose.

    I use nameboy and am not satisfied as they sometimes show domains as available but when checked in Godaddy are unavailable.

    So Domainsbot is better.

  20. laid says:

    some great domain name suggestion tools here. If you are looking for dictionary names then here is a nice domain name tool: http://www.onewordonly.com

  21. DotMySpot says:

    WOW! good tool! :D I’m using it now..

  22. Amnon Levav says:

    Is there a service which allows to sort expired domain names by PageRank? Display the latest known pagerank?

  23. Harry says:

    While age is only one of the many factors taken into account by search engine algorithms, it’s an important element that indeed makes a positive difference. Google is more likely to give the trustworthy old-timer the benefit of the doubt before listening to the whippersnappers… bullydomain.com

  24. Santosh P says:

    Thanks Darren
    The reason I dropped to this post of yours is I was hunting for different Domain suggestion Tools, Glad you wrote about it.

    I shall surely make use of it for my Upcoming online start..

    Santosh
    http://santoshp.com

  25. Hi Darren,

    Thanks for the 31 days program. I’m working my way through it, and will let you know the results.
    I’m now planning how to move my blog out of a subfolder and onto the main page of my domain (where I initially installed phpLD, which will now go into a subfolder of its own), so wish me luck!

    I’ve used http://www.bustaname.com/ in the past, but make sure you register your choice ASAP, because like many services of this type, good domains quickly become ‘unavailable’ for some strange reason…. ;)

    Cheers,
    Jane :)

  26. mel says:

    Haven’t found lot of sites that suggest good names that are still available. worse yet some of teh inquiries that i put in and didnot register were registered in a few days after my visit. Are these sites collecting data from our inquiries and is there a disclosure concerning that..

  27. I have heard some of the domainers earn $300-400 a month per domain with parking of some of the domains. Don’t have much success with my domains …any insight how it is done right…thanks

  28. Dimitris says:

    After reading all the above i still believe the best source is godaddy. Besides you need to know what you are looking for before you buy something, and you need to think very clever. The most importnat thing is to know what keywords you are targeting then it is very easy to find something close to what you are looking for.

  29. Brilliant tool :)

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