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James Iles

5 Ways to Track Down a Domain Owner After GDPR

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By James Iles, May 30, 2018
  1. On May 25th, 2018, the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect, aiming to give control to consumers over their personal data. The regulation is being enforced across the European Union and European Economic Area but also affects the exportation of personal data outside the region.

    As with many organizations, ICANN is required to comply with the GDPR. This means there have been some changes to the amount of data publicly available via WHOIS. Some registrars such as Google have limited the amount of data available, whilst Name.com are providing a contact form to message domain owners.

    With this limited amount of data, it may be a little more difficult in future to get in contact with the owner of a domain you're looking to buy. Here are five methods to help you track down the owner of a domain name.


    DomainIQ

    The first port of call is to use the WHOIS history tool available at DomainIQ. For the majority of names, DomainIQ has a cache of historical WHOIS records. If a domain has been in the possession of the same person for a number of years, an email to the last WHOIS listing with an email address may work, or at least help you to get hold of the current owner.

    If the domain was listed under privacy protection, the last known email address may not be valid. Many privacy services periodically change email addresses. Network Solutions, for example, changes client privacy email addresses every ten days.

    bino.jpg

    LinkedIn

    Registrars such as Google are currently displaying the registrant's organization name, their state, and their country in WHOIS. Using this data, you may be able to visit LinkedIn and search for the organization name. If a matching company name exists on LinkedIn, you can view said company's employees very easily.

    Every company page on LinkedIn has a link to view all employees of that company. Using that page, you'll be able to find the appropriate decision maker.


    Email Testing

    If the domain has an active website, an email address for the company may be listed on the site. By using LinkedIn to find the right person to contact, you should be able to work out the email format used by the company.

    Services such as Hunter may list the domain's email format in its database. Otherwise, services such as MailTester will usually be able to indicate whether a certain email address works.

    Sometimes, a domain may have an email box connected to it without having a website displayed. To check this, you can use a service such as MX Toolbox to find out whether any MX records are listed for the domain.


    Check the Archives

    Has the domain hosted a website in the past but doesn't now? You can check Archive.org's WayBack Machine for archival copies of any site that has been hosted on the name in the past. Checking archival copies can sometimes bring up new data that may help you to contact the current owner.


    Use a Broker

    If your own attempts fail, you can always call on a broker to pursue the name on your behalf. If your budget is large enough, a buyer broker may be able to make a deal possible when it wasn't before. Those industry professionals that spend every day tracking down domain owners will have their own set of techniques that may not be affected by the GDPR. They also may have contacts with people or companies that can help them find the domain's current owner. Sometimes, they even have the contact details for certain domain owners that they have compiled over the years, such as when they have spoken to the owner of a particular domain for a previous client before the GDPR went into effect.
     
    The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
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  4. James Iles

    About The Author — James Iles

    James is a domain name industry writer. Contact james (at) jamesiles.co.uk For all inquiries relating to NamePros stories and interviews, please email: [email protected] For James' own blog, visit JamesNames.com

    This is James Iles's 541st blog post on NamePros. View all blog posts

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  5. Comments (22)

  6. TERADOMAIN

    TERADOMAIN QualityNames.com VIP

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    Thanks for sharing
     
  7. elevator

    elevator DnCombo.com VIP

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    Valuable! This is very valuable in deed.
    Thanks you so much for your insights.

    Cheers
     
  8. efizi

    efizi Established Member

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    Thanks for the information.
     
  9. keston57

    keston57 Established Member

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    Thanks, James, this gdrp of a thing will surely cause a lot of friction for domainers.
     
  10. Mr. Deleted

    Mr. Deleted Slabaugh.com 800-266-2728 VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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  11. Michael Ehrhardt

    Michael Ehrhardt Top Contributor VIP Gold Account

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  12. Haykay2005

    Haykay2005 Top Contributor VIP

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    Thanks for sharing
     
  13. Crysis

    Crysis Established Member

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    Thanks James! Very valuable info.
     
  14. 1Darko

    1Darko Top Contributor VIP

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    Great info - thanks!(y)
     
  15. Billy Wagner

    Billy Wagner BillyW.com VIP

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    Awesome information! Thanks!
     
  16. Weber

    Weber Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Isn't it possible that alternatives may have the potential of violating new privacy rules?
     
  17. namemarket

    namemarket Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Only domainers will use, think of it, or understand these methods. Very few end users will know how or bother with it. Numerous inquiries via Whois will be lost, lowering inquiries and sales significantly.
     
  18. toughdomains

    toughdomains Top Contributor VIP

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    #6 ask the members of Namepros...they can find anything(y)

    looks like having a "domain for sale page" is now more important than ever...
     
  19. finger_print

    finger_print Established Member

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    That's very useful, thank you for sharing!
     
  20. singhhooda

    singhhooda Top Contributor VIP

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    Just adding to your comments :
    "the majority of names, DomainIQ has a cache of historical WHOIS records"

    It's same with Estibot. In cache mode, we're able to get contact information via WHOIS if no privacy is set by domain owner.
     
  21. LUP

    LUP Top Contributor VIP

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    Thanks james for sharing
     
  22. Iam_leun

    Iam_leun Established Member

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  23. SamDam

    SamDam Established Member

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    Thanks for sharing!
     
  24. FolioTeam

    FolioTeam AMDB.tv VIP

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    Valuable information. Thanks for sharing
     
  25. hjordis

    hjordis Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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  26. domainmagick

    domainmagick New Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Thanks for reminding me to use Cache mode, got a few already that way
     
  27. AYORich

    AYORich Established Member

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    Nice piece.. Very useful
     
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