Got lots of domain names? Here's how to keep track!

Last month, we released SIDN analyses Belsimpel, looking at the on-line business of one of the Netherlands' most successful telecom firms. The documentary revealed that Belsimpel has a large domain name portfolio and takes an active approach to portfolio management. Many other organisations could learn from Belsimpel's approach, because a surprising number lack a clear picture of what domain names they have.

Jumble of registrations

In many organisations, various departments undertake internet-based activities. Marketing, ICT and corporate communications will often all have cause to register domain names. And registration is so straightforward that the threshold to act is low. Sometimes the organisation's name is given when registering a new domain. And sometimes it isn't. So the organisation ends up with a jumble of registrations, each with its own registration data and contact info. The situation is liable to become even more opaque when the personnel involved change jobs.

Painful anecdote

Not long ago, a large organisation with offices throughout the Netherlands found out that 'third parties' had registered more than five hundred domain names incorporating the organisation's brand name. A law firm was immediately instructed to start action against the registrants in question. Only to discover that nearly all of them were people linked to the organisation itself, who had registered the names in good faith as part of their work. However, they had put the registrations in their own names or alternative forms of the organisation's name.

Quick test

It's not an unusual story. People often use domain names in quite haphazard ways. And organisation names are constantly changing as a result of mergers and acquisitions. Suppose, for example, that you were registering a domain for Achmea. How many different names might you put the registration in? Here's a test for sharp-eyed readers. Look at the following fictional list of registrants. What company would you expect to be behind the registrations?

  • Friese Boeren Onderlinge

  • PvF

  • W. van Duin

  • Particuliere Verzekeringen

  • DDB & Tribal

If you're familiar with Dutch industry, you'll realise that all those names are linked to Achmea/Eureko. The ad agency DDB has done work for the Achmea group company Centraal Beheer. W van Duin is Achmea's CEO, Friese Boeren Onderlinge is a short form of the name that FBTO comes from, PvF is a company that merged with Achmea, and so on.


In reality, Achmea is an organisation that avoids potential problems by managing its domain name portfolio centrally. But the example shows how easily proliferation and confusion can develop. If the holding company loses its overview, the outcome can be a brand manager's nightmare.

Domain Name Portfolio Checker

That's why SIDN introduced the Domain Name Portfolio Checker (DPC). The service lets you keep track of all the domain names registered to your organisation, regardless of the channel used. So you have the insight you need to manage your portfolio effectively. Read more about it.


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