No successful domainer should buy domain names on a whim. Well, maybe a few domains get purchased that way with good results. But generally, it’s essential to think carefully before making a purchase so as to increase the likelihood of a good return on investment. Future market value is of particular importance. Would someone else be interested in buying a given domain say in a few months or years? The answer depends on several factors, most of which should be considered as part of a comprehensive domain auditing process. WhoisXML API developed several tools that can help conduct thorough domain audits. Let’s talk about three of these tools today. WHOIS History Search A domain name’s history can strongly affect its marketability. After all, who would want to use a domain formerly owned by a known cybercriminal or with malicious ties that could haunt new domain owners and their business down the line? Consider, as a hypothetical example, the domain charityworks[.]com. A nonprofit organization interested in that domain would be scared off if it found out that it once resolved to an adult website or was associated with someone in the sector. Apart from using services such as the Wayback Machine to see the actual content of the website hosted on a domain in the past, it would also help to look into the domain’s historical WHOIS records. That is where WHOIS History Search comes in handy. You can get detailed information on changes in the domain’s ownership, including registrant and registrar contact details. Domain Reputation API Gauging the reputation of a domain name is a critical process, as no one would want their organization to be tarnished by the disreputability of the domain they choose. A domain’s reputation is affected by multiple factors, including whether or not its previous owners employed black hat search engine optimization (SEO) or engaged in outright malicious activities. Domain Reputation API evaluates a domain against a broad range of aspects. It does not only seek out relations to malicious activities via checks with external threat data feeds but also reviews a lot of technical and configurational settings that have to be correct in the case of a prestigious domain. It also computes a domain’s reputation score ranging from 0 (high risk) to 100 (low risk). The domain name rr[.]com, for example, would seem to satisfy the characteristics of a premium domain as it only has two letters and could be used in a wide range of industries. Someone would undoubtedly be willing to pay a considerable amount for this domain. However, Domain Reputation API detected that it appears on several malware data feeds, including PhishTank, the Bambenek Consulting Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT) data feeds, and Stop Forum Spam. It thus has a low reputation score of 78.93, telling potential buyers it may not be a good investment. Threat Intelligence Platform Last but not least, threat intelligence platforms can not only strengthen a company’s cybersecurity posture, but domainers can also use it to see if a domain name is worth investing in. How so? Threat Intelligence Platform (TIP) covers various aspects of a host’s IT infrastructure, including its domain name, connected websites, and IP addresses. Among other factors, it checks for IP resolutions, main infrastructure servers, subdomains, Security Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates, and domain configuration. TIP also performs a website analysis so you would know if a site contains potentially dangerous content such as .apk and .exe files. While this information is extensive and not just about domain names, strictly speaking, knowing whether a host is highly vulnerable (or not) can tell you a lot about how a domain could figure in cyber attacks. Bottom line: Thorough auditing before purchasing domain names is essential. In real estate, you’d want to know all about a house before buying it. You’d research its previous owners, what went on in it, and the neighborhood it’s in. Following the same approach with the three products I mentioned can help make well-informed decisions. This is a promoted post.