Help! Someone Has The Domain I Want!
You're not going to be able to register a domain that someone else has. As long as they continue to renew the name, it's theirs.
Now you have a couple of options...
1) Look up the expiration date. You can check the WHO.IS database to view the expiration date.
2) If the expiration date is coming soon and it's a name you really, really want, contact the person listed and make them an offer. This is a good idea if the name doesn't appear to be in use.
Even if the domain is in use, it doesn't hurt to reach out to them. They may not be doing anything with the site.
Their email address should be listed on the WHO.IS site.
However, if they know you really want it, you are probably going to have to pay more for the name. So don't expect to pay a normal registration fee -- especially if the domain has some traffic.
If they are interested in selling the name, you can do it safely at Sedo.com. This ensures the transaction happens fairly and legally for both parties.
Never buy a domain from someone else without some kind of formal contract or website that helps with a legal transaction. It's for your protection and the person you're buying from.
Once the transaction and transfer is complete, you legally own the name.
Try Other Domain Name Variations
Unless you really want the name and it's expiring soon, it's really best to try other variations of the name. Here are some ideas...
1) Add a word in the front like top or best. So if chefcookingtools.com is taken, you could register bestchefcookingtools.com.
2) Add something to the end. So if it's an information site try adding 101 to the end of the name.
3) Use a thesaurus to find synonyms of the word you want.
4) Ask friends and family. Sometimes other people can come up with ideas that you won't think of. Two heads are often better than one.
Your Name & Traffic Potential
If you're stuck on registering a certain name because you're assuming it can impact traffic, don't stress out over this at all.
Your name has little impact on how much potential search engine traffic your site will have.
You don't have to register a domain name that matches the phrases you want to get found for.
Ranking on Google has a lot more to do than just the name you choose. Your content and how other sites link to you matter so much more.
So don't be so emotionally tied to a domain name just for the potential ranking/traffic factors.
Years ago, that really mattered. Today it doesn't as much.
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