It is incredible to see how business strategies have shifted nowadays. From getting enough airtime on TV and radio or securing the best billboard location, to hiring social media “influencers” and battling tooth and nail to be on the number one spot of Google. Indeed, it is fascinating to see how we have adapted to the changing landscape as the Internet has progressed from being a way to entertain ourselves to being a constant part of our daily lives.

For this reason, a lot of entrepreneurs have taken it upon themselves to learn more about search engine optimisation and creating an online brand. However, there are crucial parts of online branding that they seem to skip over. Maybe it is too technical to understand or maybe it seems easy to learn so they keep it at the side for later study. But it is usually these crucial elements of online branding that will determine whether all your online efforts will pay off or not. One of these important elements of cementing your online reputation is the WHOIS Lookup.

What is WHOIS Lookup? 

Simply put, WHOIS is a query and response protocol that stores different kinds of website information like the registered user for a domain name, IP address block, and so on. You can simply make a quick search on expiring domain names, websites who may have violated trademark, or use the WHOIS Lookup to fight off phishers.

Let us explore the benefits of the WHOIS system to your business website.

Making sure you have a unique domain name

When creating an online identity, one of the first things you will be doing is choosing a domain name that not only speaks for your brand, but is also unique and easy to remember. It is a hard balance to make because if it is too unique, it may be difficult to retain; however, if it is too common, it will be completely forgettable. This is why some businesses have opted to use their company name as their domain name – this is ideal, of course. But if you have a difficult company name, it may complicate things for you.

What most would do in this situation is they would coin a term or a phrase unique to their business and then use it as a domain name. This is a good workaround, the only hindrance being if another website has taken it. Let us assume for the moment that you have thought of it first. The WHOIS Lookup will help you keep your domain name, and in effect your branding, unique by showing you a list of websites that are using the same word or phrase. You will be able to contact the domain registrar and the registrant to discuss trademark violations if there are any.

In the event that you were not the first one to think of the phrase or word before, you may still use the WHOIS Lookup to check if the domain names using it are about to expire. You can even consider negotiating with the registrant if they are willing to let go of it once their domain expires; then you will be given a time window to purchase or bid for it.

Keep track of illegal activities

The most important feature of the WHOIS system is its ability to watch for phishing scams and fraud. This is a key feature you need to maximise because any content being posted under your name for hacking, spamming, and phishing purposes will hurt your online reputation, and ultimately, your brand. To keep track of these, you will have to use the WHOIS verification feature.

Lastly, do not be worried about people looking up your information in the WHOIS system. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) makes sure that any information being retrieved from their system is purely for lawful purposes only.