Robert Eisele
Systems Engineer, Architect and DBA

How I've got no new .de domain

I think most peoples in germany have realized the changes of denic terms. Now it's possible to register all .de domains, without any restriction. Before 23.10.2009 you had no possibility to register one- and two letter domains and domains containing numbers only.

The easing of terms has ignited a fight for these coveted domains. Not least because every single domain has a worth of about 10,000€ and more. I think the chance to get one domain is greater than winning with a lottery, especially when we can use a few tricks. And that is the reason why I have been involved in this madness.

So i focused my consideration on 2 letter domains and the also opened registration plate-domains. What did I do. First, I permutated all possible characters and build a list of domains:

aa
ab
ac
ad
...
zz
00
01
...
99

After that, I appended all 3 letter registration plates to that list. Okay, that was easy, but now I tried to evaluate the list to register the good names as fast as possible. A little side note. Some registrars introduced the possebility to place a reservation. There are 273 registered registrars. Every registrar can register 4 domains per minute. So 273 * 4 = 1092 domains can be registered in theorie per minute. We have the eyes on 36² + ~170 = 1466 domains; means, in the worst case the whole magic would be done in 1 minute and 20 seconds. The good for us is, that most peoples pounce on the domains that jump in their mind at first. I think, if this scattering factor could be calculated, we would have a better prediction. But let's come to the evaluation of our domain names to have a little advantage over the others.

What I did at first, was a google lookup for every word/token, which made a good preselection. I thought to get a better result, I have to weight with a few other factors. So what makes a domain worth? How can we express, that "los" is even better than "a3y"? Domain sellers use LLL (letter letter letter) or better CVC (consonant vowel consonant) to express this. So a LNL (letter number letter) is not as good as a LLL or CVC. I wrote a little function (here in PHP) to solve this problem:

<?php

function rateDomainName($str) {

	$score = 0;
	$extra = 0;

	for($i = 0, $len = strlen($str); $i < $len; $i++) {

		$extra+= ord($str[$i]);

		switch($str[$i]) {

			case 'a':	case 'e':
			case 'i':	case 'o':
			case 'u':
				if($i === 1 && $len === 3) {
					$score+= 1.;
				} else {
					$score+= .8;
				}
				break;
			case '0':	case '1':
			case '2':	case '3':
			case '4':	case '5':
			case '6':	case '7':
			case '8':	case '9':
				if($i === 1 && $len === 3) {
					$score+= .1;
				} else {
					$score+= .2;
				}
				break;
			default:
				$score+= .5;
		}
	}

	if($extra === $len * ord($str[0])) {
		return $score + 2.;
	} else {
		return $score;
	}
}

?>

Calculated the result from rateDomainName() with the number of google serps, the ranking of my domains got better, but that was not enough. The last step, was building a black- and a whitelist of names. Some names are desperate and hold a lot of trouble, for example o2.de, 4u.de or other proper nouns. These problems can have other peoples and help me by locking their registrar for the current minute with such crap.

But the time window was anyway a problem. So I created many accounts with every imaginable registrar and droped my list of domains in the right order into their forms. Now I can say, the work was for nothing. I got not even one domain. But I think this is a good proof, that shows, that the only thing you need is money for such problems. Sure denic is a non-profit concern, but most of these 273 registrars made millions with this little change in denic's terms by ordering the queue onto the bidding. So thanks all you grabbers for having about 25.000 new parking-sites :-)

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