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April 18, 2008

Google WHOIS OneBox

Google shows a special OneBox when you search for "whois", followed by a domain name: for example, [whois]. The OneBox shows the date when a certain domain was created and date when it will expire. It seems that the only provider of information for this OneBox is Domain Tools.

Google launched a similar feature four years ago, but it was removed really fast because it scraped data from Network Solutions without permission. "Google quietly launched a service allowing visitors to look up data on domain name owners from public databases - collectively known as Whois - run by registrars worldwide. Although largely unpromoted, the service generated enough traffic to surpass Network Solutions' (NSI's) daily Whois use limits, which aim to stop spammers and other undesirables from harvesting information about its customers."

This is not the only direct answer displayed at the top of Google's search results: there are many OneBoxes that show maps, stock quotes, weather information, local time, books, definitions or facts.

{ via Matt Cutts }

Update: after 3 or 4 page views, DomainTools shows this message "You have reached your daily lookup limit as an guest user. Please login or register". Maybe Google should partner with companies that have less restrictions.


  1. Snap! :-)

    (Did he just casually drop that into his blog post to see if anyone would pick up on it?)

  2. ya this is a cool thing
    instead of typing that big url we can directly search on google whois data

  3. The only provider currently shows all the HTML code of any looked up page (e.g.

    Just look at the source code for that page. If you do a unique text search for my site, the whois page shows up as well as mine. Isn't this a copyright issue?

  4. There's a feature called SEO Text Browser that shows the homepage of a site as seen in a text-only browser. I don't think that could be called copyright infringement, the same way Google Translate, Google Cache or Google's mobile transcoder don't infringe copyright.

  5. That's a really poorly implemented feature because it doesn't work with TLDs like .ca

  6. Your search - whois - did not match any documents.

    So is it only for .com

  7. .com, .net, .org, .info, .biz, .mobi, .us, .ca, .it,, .bg, .se, .cz, .ru, .jp, .cn and probably other TLDs

  8. > That's a really poorly implemented feature because it doesn't work with TLDs like .ca

    May be this is why:

  9. For whois anybody can also check


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