/ Just a few clicks to the perfect domain?

Aug 14

/ nic.at News - 14.08.2019 10:50
Just a few clicks to the perfect domain?

The name of a domain is an important part of the way a company, organisation or private individual portrays itself online. Whether it is part of an e-mail address or the website address itself: the domain is ever-present – so it makes sense that it should be selected carefully. While there are various online tools that suggest domain names to help users arrive at the right domain for them, the suggestions are often unusable and are more likely to add to the frustration than lead to a solution. But what trips these tools up, how can they be optimised and how can a little creativity and some good tips help people on their way to that perfect domain name? And what does the development process look like?

Problem no. 1: Context
One of the most common problems is that domain suggestion tools are usually unable to determine context – what is logical to humans is not so easily identifiable to program, whatever the languages. If hairgott.at has already been taken, proposed alternatives such as hairjesus.at or chairgott.at might be nice and creative, but ultimately they’re not fit for purpose. The problem? The program just cannot get the context, or in this case fails to identify HairGott as the full company name. It does not think of extending the name with prefixes (e.g. der-hairgott.at, mein-hairgott.at) or delivering alternative suggestions related to salons, styling or hair care.

Issues with proper names are relatively common: as the program is not able to make the distinction properly, it could end up suggesting “landwirt-bäcker” as an alternative to “landwirt-müller”.

Problem no. 2: Hyphens
The next issue for bog standard domain suggestion tools is proper and appropriate use of hyphens. In many cases it is hard to separate a single word properly – as a result a Maxi Meier can be turned into a maxim-eier.at and a federleicht.at suddenly re-emerges as feder-lei-cht.at. An interesting aside: did you know that around one third of all domains in the .at zone feature a hyphen?

Problem no. 3: Combinations of words
Domain suggestion tools come up with some really creative ideas when it comes to finding alternatives to unavailable domains such as sandraschneider.at or kfzlackner.at that feature additional words or articles: suggestions such as puresandraschneider.at and thekfzlackner.at just don’t quite have the same ring to them, do they?

Solution no. 1: Get creative
Would you prefer to take a more hands-on role in finding that all-important domain? We have put together lots of tips and tricks on our website and even a video guide to help you. Whether you need to navigate hyphens, umlauts or different spellings – we hope it inspires you.

Solution no. 2: Go pro
Our registrars are the perfect option for anyone who would prefer to let the professionals take over. Many ISPs offer domain support and consultation services and can draw up bespoke domain strategies. Simply use our partner finder to search for Domain Consulting as a service.

Solution no. 3: Wait for the nic.at domain suggestion tool to come out
The nic.at R&D team has been working on a domain suggestion tool for a few months now. After in-depth analysis of existing domains (active and deleted) using data processing, special algorithms were used to break these domains down into individual words or convert diphthongs back into umlauts. “As things currently stand we are able to come up with sensible domain suggestions for the majority of domain enquiries and add hyphens and umlauts. This is just the first stage – we are continuing to test many other ideas,” explained Alex Mayrhofer, head of the nic.at Research & Development department. Artificial intelligence is also used – for example to break down domain names into individual words, which is working amazingly well. A beta version is due to go online at www.nic.at in autumn.