Domain Portfolio Audit and Analysis
A Portfolio Audit is a significant step towards establishing control of your domain portfolio, and utilising it to its greatest extent.
The majority of corporations with global outreach possess hundreds, if not thousands of domain names. Even smaller organisations can have plenty of domains, and sometimes more than they think! Over time, domain names may have been registered by multiple departments from multiple locations and branches, by numerous contact persons and domain registrars.
On the basis of your input and recommendations, our experienced auditors will conduct a series of automated screenings together with manual research. They will eventually generate a complete and user friendly overview of the portfolio, comprising not only all domain names owned by or related to your organisation, but also those held by third parties.
The audit will encompass all generic Top Level Domains (gTLD’s) and country code Top Level Domains (ccTLD’s). A total of 600+ TLD’s.
Some countries and TLDs provide limited or no “whose” information, while others allow cross-data search and match. We are familiar with them all, and will seek to identify not only domains relevant to your core brand and products, but also campaign domains and other domain strings which we jointly agree to screen for.
Next step is to establish the current legal standing of the domains, i.e. is your organisation in control of its own domains.
- which domains are owned by your main organisation
- which are held by branch offices or other internal organisations
- which are held by third parties
Our statistics demonstrate that as much as 45% of domain names may be held by third parties. The following domains are just a few possible scenarios:
- previous company name or name of acquired companies
- misspellings or complete omission of company name in owner data
- owned by employees
- “lazy” domain registrars registered domains using their own name
- held by a local distributor
- held by ex-partners, competitors
- taken by dissatisfied ex-employees
- captured by cyber sharks, ranging from private hopefuls to professionals
Knowing which registrars manage which domains, when they are about to expire, and what renewal agreement is in place is very significant. Many registrars employ an opt-in policy, where domain renewal fees must be paid before a specified deadline, or the domain will simply expire.
- know which domain registrar is the current administrator, if any at all
- know the domain administrative, technical and billing contacts
Track and identify the technical settings and efficacy of each domain. Make use of inactive domains.
- which name servers do the domains point to
- are the domain names being actively utilised
- web traffic & SEO specific data (optional)
Why were certain domains registered before the others? The majority of domain names can be categorised without difficulty, or clues can be detected in the audit data, but some may be hard to determine.
This is certainly a task where you may require to head up the research.
Most clients take the natural step forward after a thorough audit by initiating a portfolio consolidation and optimisation.
- clarify legal status
- consolidate contacts
- choose a response strategy for third party names
- seal “gaps” in the portfolio
- drop domain names no longer required
- backorder desired domain names
- consolidate management with one registrar
- work out a domain strategy
Which domains do you own?
- domain name
- registration date
- expiration date
Who owns and controls your domains?
- Administrative contacts
- Technical contacts
- Billing contacts
How are your domains being utilised?
- Mail servers
- Web traffic data
- SEO data
Who infringes upon your brands?
- Detection and course of action
Where to seek protection?
- Potential risk areas
Where to invest?
- Select domains to fill gaps in the portfolio
- Obtain valuable domains when they become available