If you have selected your domain name for your new venture, you next need to stake a claim on the name. The first step for that is to check the domain name’s ownership history.
The domain name may have a history of sensitive content and malicious code. It may have been used by many owners previously.
On the internet, the past is important. Therefore, you need to learn about your domain name’s past to be on the safer side and to avoid surprises at a later stage.
What is the domain owner history?
The advantage of buying an older domain is it can boost your website’s ranking in search engine results. But before purchasing you need to investigate the domain owner history, the website type, and the activities which happened under it.
If a domain has a bad history then Google may penalize it which will affect its search results ranking.
If another business, group, or person has used the domain in the past then you need to learn if its track record has been good.
Further, a domain that had many drops or has been punished by Google may not be visible in search engine results.
Google views domains as an identity proof of the owner and their business. Therefore, select a domain with a good track record to boost your SEO ranking.
Here are the 5 best domain ownership history checking tools
Domain Tools is a paid solution that costs $99/user/month or $995/year for personal membership.
It allows premium users to peruse the historical information of any site. The service gives users a wide set of statistics and a comprehensive domain history database.
You can track changes in domain ownership, previous ownership record and the complete domain ownership trial.
Visit DomainTools.com and enter the name of the domain to get the needed information. The service gives you valuable data about any domain’s history.
- A unique feature of Domain Tools is it allows you to get info on name servers and current DNS records.
- You can track the changes to the titles and other related records of the complete ownership history of the selected URL.
- Domain Tools offers whois info for the domain name you wish to use or are currently using.
- Domain Tools also presents a typo-generator, Name Server spy and cross-IP lookups.
- In addition, the website provides a range of DNS tools like traceroute and ping.
- Robust search functionalities include a domain for sale search and domain auction search.
- Domain Tools’ solutions comprise over 15 years of data that includes name servers, hosting data, IP addresses, related screenshots, passive DNS data, and whois records.
- The tool helps you find whether a site is a high risk or not.
- Professional members can just click on the date to access data on recorded whois history.
- The personal membership fee is steep.
Who.is is a free service that you can use to track info about any domain or IP address.
The tool allows you to check website details, its own information and other stats.
It provides all the essential details about any domain name. Plus, it enables you to keep track of new TLDs (Top-Level Domains), so you can swiftly grab them before competitors.
- Who.is gives you the needed details about a domain, including its history and whether it is currently registered or not.
- To make the search easier, Who.is has developed a back-end that permits them to organize and offer to you vital information such as historical records, DNS, and whois in just a few clicks.
- Who.is’s objective is to provide accurate and updated domain info in a single place so you need not visit multiple sources to get your needed answers.
- You can track domains across multiple registrars. Plus, you can use your dashboard to organize and save many domains and manage them in a single place.
- You can get information such as current and previous domain owner, nameservers, host Internet Protocol (IP), website stats and other website info
- Who.is sends a mail alert to notify you if any changes take place in the domain’s info you want to buy.
- You can use Who.is to correct info about your sites. If any details are incomplete regarding your site, you can ask the domain registrar to do the corrections.
- No obvious cons.
Whoxy is a reliable whois search engine and the Whoxy API is a web tool that poses queries of whois registries for whois registrars.
It then parses the received results into structured JSON or XML. Whoxy also presents API balance check endpoints, history lookup, and reverse lookup.
You can access the API either free or subscribe to a paid plan for advanced features. API docs offer code samples and full endpoint descriptions. You can use this information to understand how to use the API.
- Whoxy pricing starts from $2 for 1,000 domain whois API queries and extends to $1,000 for 1 million domain whois API queries.
- Whois API supports 2026 domain extensions, ensuring support for all domains.
- You can fetch the whois records of up to 100,000 domain names.
- The service will not charge you any API credits if no whois records are fetched for your domain name query.
- The Whoxy database contains records of 345 million domain names.
- Whoxy pricing is the cheapest among competitors. It charges $2 for 1,000 domain whois API queries compared to $30 by Domain Tools.
- Raw whois text is included with the parsed whois fields.
- It offers many services like bulk whois lookup, whois database download, newly registered domains, dropped deleted domains, expiring domain names, and free whois API program.
- No obvious cons
Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine gives you images of historical changes on a site.
It can be called the internet’s time machine as it allows you to go back and view a website’s older versions.
You can select a specific date and see how a site looked on that date. In short, Wayback Machine is a cookie storing tool that allows you to go back in time.
- Wayback Machine is a free tool that enables you to track the starting point of any domain name.
- You can learn who is the owner of a specific domain.
- The tool hosts records of websites that have been created on the internet.
- You can check out the past versions of websites. For example, you can view Facebook’s 2010 version.
- Visit archive.org, input the URL, and select the year, month, and date to view the site’s appearance.
- The tool allows you to explore over 446 billion web pages
- The Wayback Machine Availability API allows you to develop your own tools
- The WordPress Broken Link Checker enables you to eliminate broken links from your blog.
- The 404 Handler for Webmasters tool helps users to get to their desired destination.
- The Archive-It subscription service lets you capture, search, and manage digital content collections with no hosting facilities or technical expertise.
- The Save Page Now feature allows you to capture a web page as it looks now for use as a reliable citation.
- Wayback Machine is free to use.
- Wayback Machine is not a reliable solution for archiving web pages.
- It does not capture all web pages and users have no control over the pages it captures.
- Quite often HTML is misunderstood and images can be missing leading to awkward seeming pages.
Whoisrequest allows you to learn about a domain’s history. You can find out if a specific website address has been owned previously.
With this tool, you can check the domains from 2002 till the current date for the domain extensions like biz, net, info, org, US, and com.
- Whoisrequest offers useful services like the reverse lookup of IP and nameservers.
- You can also find out the name and contact details of domain owners.
- Main features include whois lookups, IP whois lookups, reverse IP lookups, domain history, and reverse NS lookups.
- The Whoisrequest website’s design is simple and neat, and easy to use.
- Its reverse IP tool can find almost any domain name using the specific IP address.
- The service’s database stores over 155 million domains including almost all available TLDs.
- You can also apply filters by TLD. For instance, you can view.DE domains for specific reverse IP lookup.
- The reverse nameserver lookup tool helps you find all (us, biz, org, net, com) domains using, for example, google.com nameservers.
To sum up, let’s see which service is suitable for which category of users:
- Domain Tools is expensive and therefore suitable for those with a generous budget.
- Who.is is perfect for those who wish to grab new TLDs before competitors.
- Whoxy is ideal for those who want extensive domain search services but on a limited budget.
- Wayback Machine is a fit for those who are curious to view a website’s past versions.
- Whoisrequest is suitable for users who want to find out the name and contact details of domain owners.
Select the service you want based on your budget and desired features.