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Friday, April 18, 2008

The Return of Google’s WHOIS OneBox
By Tony Ruscoe

Last month, Philipp compiled a list of lost Google features, at the top of which was a reference to the WHOIS OneBox feature that Google added for a brief period back in January 2004. Well, that OneBox is now back:

By entering a search phrase like [whois] you can quickly see when the domain’s WHOIS record was created and when the domain will expire above the search results. (Somewhat ironically, it doesn’t actually tell you to whom the domain belongs though.)

Google implies it’s getting this information from the Domain Tools website, which is linked to from the OneBox result title too. However, it seems the data being displayed is not coming live from the WHOIS record, so Google must be caching the information somewhere.

It has been suggested in the past that Google may use this WHOIS data as part of its ranking algorithms, possibly giving weight to those domains which are registered for longer periods.

[Hat tip to Matt Cutts!]


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