Google is beginning to ramp up its information indexing efforts to the point where nothing and no-one is safe. In addition to making some headway into indexing the Deep Web, Googlebots are now also indexing whois domain information. For webmasters, whois needs no introduction. For those of you who don’t own a website, an introduction will be necessary.
Whois is basically a database, a directory if you will, where you can find out who owns a particular website domain name. You can find out when that domain name was taken over by the current owner and when the current ownership expires. You can also find out if a particular domain name is available to buy right now. One website where you can access whois information can be found here and the Wikipedia entry here.
So now Google is indexing all the whois information which means you can query Google to find out what you are looking for.
So say you wanted to make a query about the Google Tutor domain. Just put into Google whois googletutor.com :
You’ll then see the creation date and the expiry date and also a direct link to the whois records for Google Tutor.
I personally think that if Google is serious about indexing the records, they would at least show something a bit more on the search page than just the creation date and expiry date. How about the domain owner name at the very least? But instead, you just get two dates and then you still have to click through to whois to get the rest. But I suppose it’s a start at least.
Google tried to do something like this back in 2004 but it proved to be a short-lived scheme. Network Solutions didn’t like it because the whole plan involved scraping data from them and so naturally they torpedoed the plan.
This time, it’ll be interesting to see how this idea matures.