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How to Check a Domain

by | Mar 8, 2023 | Domain Name Blog

So, you’ve just thought of the perfect domain name for your website. But how do you know if it’s unique? What if someone else has already registered it? How can you find an alternative domain name? Basically, how do you check a domain?

These are important questions, and we’ll answer them all in this guide.

Check a Domain with Our Search Tool

Domain search tool

The best way to check a domain is to use an online domain search tool. All the best domain registrars have search tools on their websites. (We have a great one on our domain searchpage!)

No Need to Wait!

The tool will run a real-time check of the international domain name databases. That means there’s no long wait; you’ll know right away whether your dream domain is available.

Finding Alternative Domain Names

It can be annoying to find that someone else has already registered your favourite domain name! But it’s easy to find alternatives. When you run a search, our domain suggestion tool automatically creates a whole list of possibilities. It also shows you alternatives using different top-level domains – like .com, .co and .ae.

This feature also makes our tool perfect if you’re having trouble picking a domain name. Sometimes you might even find that the tool suggests an alternative domain name that’s better than your original idea!

Use a Domain Broker to Get Your Dream Domains

What happens if you check a domain and find it’s taken, but the alternatives aren’t quite right? It could be time to use a domain broker. Domain brokers are experts in negotiating the purchase of pre-owned domains.

Are Domain Brokers Expensive?

You will have to pay more than you would for an unregistered domain name. The current owner will probably want a higher price than a standard registration fee, and the domain broker will charge a commission. Even so, getting the perfect domain could support the success of your business, and you might feel that the extra money is worth spending.

Types of Domain Name

When you’re checking a domain name you’re likely to see lots of different endings to the domain, this is called the TLD or Top Level Domain. It is the final part of any domain name and can tell you a lot about the website you’re about to enter. Here are some of the biggest TLDs with their explanations.

.com TLD

check .com domain

The com Top Level Domain stands for commercial. It is the most widely used TLD and comes with a lot of trust. It’s typically more expensive than others, but is a good way to add a level of international reassurance to your website.

.org TLD

check org domain

A website using org means it’s an organisation. It is most commonly used for non-profits and charities, however, it is open to be used by anyone.

.co TLD

check .co domain

The co TLD stands for company, it is a great option if you’re a company wanting to show your business more online.

.gov TLD

check .gov domain

Domain names ending in gov are for governmental organisations. This is a locked domain, so only organisations within a government are able to use this TLD.

.edu TLD

check .edu domain

The edu domain stands for education and can only be used by educational organisations.

.ae TLD

check .ae domain

An ae domain name is different from the list above as this is a CCTLD, meaning Country Code Top Level Domain. It’s similar to, or .us. These are all TLDs that reference where the company, website or organisation is based. An ae domain means the website has a reference to the UAE.

You might be interested in learning more about ae domain names here.

Why Does Top Level Domain Matter?

Different TLDs have different meanings and authority across the internet. We referenced this slightly with com domains being more trustworthy than others. However, it can play a bigger role than just preference.

Domain Authority

A domain ending edu or gov has more authority than standard open domains. This is because there has to be some level of reference and accountability with these domains. This is managed through the domain registrar and requires more information and account verification in order to be allowed a locked domain.

Country Domains

TLDs like those ending ae or usa have a reference towards the country the website is in. This can add a level of trust and desire from users. If you’re looking to reach other markets it can be beneficial to use CCTLDs.

Check a Domain Name For SEO

Some domain names have a past and a history. Although this might be a little bit spooky or concerning, it isn’t as long as you check your domain name properly. It can be very beneficial to the new owner.

Why Check a Domain Name

By checking the domain you can see if it has been used before as a brand, if there are any backlinks or if Google or other search engines have black listed it. Chances are the domain name you pick is new and hasn’t been used before, but it’s always worth looking into the domain name before you purchase it.

How to Check a Domain Name For SEO?

To Check a domain name you can simply google the domain. If anything comes up, or even if the domain itself comes up, you know it has been used before. You can also use a tool like WebArchiver, which shows the old archives of cached websites to see the previous content.

Domain names with history typically have things called backlinks, these are links from one website to another. Having older backlinks means other websites are vouching for your site. This can give your domain authority before you’ve even gotten started, which is great!

To check this, use a website like SEMRush. This will show you the search engine history of a domain name, including backlinks and the previous keywords it’s featured on.

semrush - check domain

Start Your Domain Search With

Start your domain name journey by searching for available domains using our search tool here.