GoDaddy should change how it calculates Whois lookups.

Now that GoDaddy has retired its old domain manager, some Website Hosting Review readers have asked how to download Whois counts for their domains.

It turns out that this feature is temporarily unavailable in the new domain manager but should return shortly.

This got me thinking: it would be great if GoDaddy improved its Whois counts during this upgrade process.

If you aren’t familiar with Whois counts, GoDaddy lets you see how many times someone (or something) did a Whois search for domains you own. This is one more metric that might help you value your domains.

Because .com operates on a thin Whois system, your registrar is pinged every time someone does a Whois search for the domain, regardless of where that search is performed. The registrar holds the contact information that Whois returns.

Previously, registrars returned Whois contact information whether a search took place on a web-based form or through Port 43. But GoDaddy no longer provides contact details on Port 43 lookups. This means that anyone doing a Port 43 lookup probably isn’t interested in getting your contract info to contact you. The only place to get your contact info is on the Whois search tool at

With this in mind, going forward I think GoDaddy should only include Whois lookups that took place on the GoDaddy website. This will provide more accurate numbers and reduce the noise.

Additionally, it would be nice to get more data about who is conducting the search. Epik has the model to follow here.

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