How to Pick Alternate Domain Names When Yours Is Not Available

Red Dice With so many websites now on the World Wide Web, it is common to find out that your most desired domain name is no longer available. As we covered last week, there are plenty of ways to find a way around this phenomenon, but you may be dead-set on the particular keywords or name. Perhaps it directly relates to your brand name or is simply the best choice overall. With the addition of several hundred new top-level domains by ICANN, it is easier than ever to find some variation with the keywords you value most. In this article, we’ll outline how to pick alternate domain names for your website and give you some advice on which TLDs to explore first.

Prime TLDs to Consider

We all naturally think of .com domains as being the standard-bearer of internet prestige. If we are able to secure a .com domain of our choosing, then we feel accomplished and we expect that customers and searchers will be able to find us easily. Outside of this particular TLD, however, confusion may set in quickly. With the addition of hundreds of new TLDs, you now have the ability to choose domains such as .info, .biz, .website, .property, .laywer and more. Many niche industries will actually find there are many new choices that complement their existing domain name desires better than the standard .com or .org variations. For each business, the ideal will vary.

Research Potential Selections

Before you select any domain name, it makes sense to do some research to find out more about it. Many domain names have been owned at one point before – perhaps they were allowed to lapse after a reseller did not find a buyer, or perhaps they went back on the market after a website closed down. Some domains naturally performed better than others historically. While pinging websites in the hopes of exploiting such dynamics can be detrimental when embraced broadly, buying freshly-released domains that enjoyed higher PR on Google can actually help your new website perform better than it would otherwise (when coupled with all of the necessary SEO elements).

Keep An Eye Open for Openings

If the domain name you wish to have is currently taken, then consider looking up the whois information. It may be ready to expire, and especially in cases where nothing is currently displayed on the website, it may become available in the near future. Most domains are renewed on an annual basis, so it is easy to keep tabs on domains to see if they have been renewed by their owners or not annually. With this information in hand, you can go ahead and move on to select a domain name for the here and now, but this particularly desired domain may open up in the near future. Some domain name prospectors keep a folder of domain names on which to keep tabs throughout the year, setting reminders to check in at specific intervals.


Pinging websites such as GoDaddy and others about the status of domain names can be frustrating, but there are always options. With so many new TLDs available, plenty of old domains that may now be free, and the possibility that desired domain names will enter the market again in the near future, you never have to be stuck with a domain solution that does not fit your particular needs.

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