Waiting is awful. Especially when it comes to online experiences. Everything on the internet is expected to be quick, especially when searching. For example, Google engineers conduct tests to see how small decreases in search result speeds affect user behavior. You might think it takes something like a 2-4 second delay before anyone interacts with the service differently. But negative changes were evident with just a 200ms delay!
Everyone wants everything instantly. That’s what Instant Domain Search is all about. Keep reading to learn a little about how it works.
Instant Domain Search downloads a gigantic list of registered names from VeriSign and other gTLD providers every night. Almost all domain names that are in use are included in these lists, which are called zone files. Instant Domain Search indexes the zone files, and hosts them in data centers around the world.
For gTLDs with zone files it can’t access, it does a DNS query to check availability. It also does a live query with VeriSign directly for .com domain names to see if their status has changed since we indexed the zone file, or if they are in a state that would exclude them from the zone file. All of this is then combined with a compendium of prefixes and suffixes that get added in a meaningful way to each letter you type.
The result is a system that gives you relevant search responses as fast as you can type. But don’t think of Instant Domain Search as just another database. It helps you keep ideas flowing through the speed and quality of its suggestions.
Everything Is Faster In The Cloud
The best way to make a website and its contents load quickly is to distribute it across servers around the world. Instant Domain Search runs on the Google cloud. It can scale up or down according to demand, so the backend is very efficient.
But the biggest contribution to its speed is how the site is duplicated on servers across multiple regions. So instead of everyone pinging a server in Virginia and slowing it to a crawl, Google Load Balancer determines which one is closest to where a search originates.
This translates to zero waiting wherever you’re located. A search made in California will be just as fast as one made in Kansas or London.
Instant Results Through DNS Queries
There are two ways a domain name search can be performed: a slow and less-reliable option and a much faster one. The slow way is to do a whois search. It will return a long list of details about each registered domain name, including who owns it and how to contact them.
The faster option is to use a Domain Name Server (DNS) query. DNS queries primarily return the IP address for a domain name. When you want to search thousands of combinations of domain names at one time, returning less information in the beginning is going to speed up the process rather than digging into so many specifics.
All the important information you need for each search is included in a DNS query. There’s no need to go farther than that when you’re just browsing. This cuts out a lot of wasted time when all you want to know is if a domain name has been claimed or not.
Suggestions Help Users Select Domain Names Faster
When you combine AI, machine learning and fast domain searches, it's not enough to just return one result. Other services seem to like frustrating their users with one result at a time. We thought the time wasted to click back and forth between the search box and the results page can be put to better use.
That’s why Instant Domain Search fills your screen with results, without the need to even press a search button. We’ve focused on removing all the unnecessary steps from the user experience while expanding on the most relevant part: the results!
You can really appreciate the difference this makes when you just want to change one letter in a query. For example, if you were to search doghomes.com, you would find it’s registered but not listed for sale. However, by changing the search by one letter to doghome.com, you can see it’s listed for sale. You won’t find that kind of search quality on other sites.
And when a user only sees one result at a time, it’s just barely helpful. Multiple suggestions lead to inspiration and more ideas. All creative endeavours are easier when there’s plenty of material to reference. A fast name search with lots of results makes the process fun, too.
Speed Doesn't Mean Insecure
Every query conducted on Instant Domain Search is encrypted, so all results remain private. Cookies are providing marketing databases with more than enough information from regular website traffic without the need for domain name searches to be tracked as well. So we’ve ensured the site is secure for everyone who uses it.
We’re also happy to report this added layer of security doesn’t come at a cost. The speed of search results isn’t affected by the encryption, which is largely attributable to HTTP/2 being so efficient.
It also helps that the site design has intentionally been kept simple. So while you won’t find fullscreen backgrounds of tropical places in 4k resolution, your search results won’t suffer from the loading time lost on them either.
There's One More Thing Everyone Can Agree About
We all like getting a good deal. Through the partnerships we have with domain name registrars like GoDaddy, we’re able to secure massive discounts for domain name purchases and other services, such as website hosting.
Every result includes a link to buy it, even if it’s already owned by someone else. Depending on its availability, users may be directed to an auction or to claim an open domain name. There’s no waiting or guessing about what to do next.
If only everything on the internet and life were so easy.