Saturday, July 30, 2016

How to Buy a (registered) Domain Name using Brokerage

Have you ever felt screwed because someone on the internet owns your beloved domain name? I can honestly say that I can sleep a little better tonight, since I acquired, the .com brethren of my beloved UK TLD,

How to buy a domain through using domain brokerage

I used SEDO, but there are a number of other recommended domain brokers to choose from. In the past, I’ve worked with services from Godaddy and I’d love to write about them all, but I only bought one domain this time so here’s how it worked with SEDO.

First, you have to register and get your email address approved. Once you’re done with the account activation process, head to the domain brokerage page and fill out the domain search form:
this domain is already registered
If a domain is already registered, complete the domain brokerage application, including any details of previous contact with the domain owner.

The more info you can give to your broker, the better – particularly (failed) attempts to acquire the domain on your own.
Next, comes the fun part. The wait, followed by a torrent of emails explaining that your request has been received, followed by an acceptance and confirmation that the brokerage process has begun.

According to the email you receive:

    A broker has been assigned to your account and will begin efforts to establish contact with the owner. Your broker will provide periodic updates via the Brokerage Status page as additional progress is made. Please keep in mind that this can take several weeks. If the broker is unable to negotiate an agreement within your current budget, he or she will contact you for further consultation.

Within a week I received another email announcing that a message awaited me in the brokerage status control panel at This was the message confirming the purchase had been agreed:

Time to make your agreement

At this point you have to reply in writing (by email) to an agreement which looks a little like this:

    1. I agree to buy for xxx USD

    2. I understand that I, the Buyer will also pay the Sedo fees (10% of the final sales price).

    3. I understand that Sedo reserves the right to disclose and publicize the sales price and domain name (otherwise an additional fee of 2.5% will apply to the requesting party).

All of which seems pretty fair. You have to sign the email with your name, address and contact details, making the email reply pretty much a formal contract. No pulling out now!

I’ve agreed and paid, now what?

Once the payment has been sent through, and your domain is held in Escrow, your domain transfer manager asks you to initiate the transfer process. By the way, they (Sedo) accept payments via Paypal. Very handy indeed! Initiating a domain transfer request on your side is really easy too. Login to your existing domain management account and initiate a transfer from there.

The domain owner is contacted by the registrar (usually via email to the administrative contact on the whois details) and, provided the domain owner has unlocked the domain for transfer and provides the AUTH code given by the current registrar, the domain transfer process begins.

How long does it take?

This domain transfer took a week, making the whole domain brokerage process from start to finish take almost exactly 1 month:
It’s (amazingly) simple.

This was my first experience of a domain brokerage and I have to say, it was much, much easier than I thought. So, if someone else owns the domain name you’ve been longing for, why not make a move and acquire it for yourself?

Friday, July 29, 2016

How To Search On Google

Top 10 Search Modifiers: Why They Matter, What They Are & How To Use Them

Here’s the entire list of the top 10 search modifiers for your perusal.
  1.  “query”
  2.  –query
  3.  Query AND query
  4.  Query OR query
  6.  Inurl:query
  7.  Intitle:query
  8.  Filetype:query
  9.  Related:query
  10.  Inpostauthor:query

The List Of Search Modifiers And How To Use Them

1.       “Query” — The Exact Match Search

How it works: Quotation marks, or “query” will Search Google for only the exact match of your query, also known as exact match search.

Example: “Page One Power link building”

Uses: Searching for an exact piece of information. Great for searching serial numbers, model numbers, obscure names, etc. Very basic, but very important in advanced search, especially when combining search modifiers to achieve specific results.

2.       –Query — The Query Exclusion Modifier

How it works: the subtract modifier will remove any query you don’t want in the search results.

Example: “Jon Ball” -“Page One Power”

Uses: Trimming the fat from your search results. When searching for something specific, and you’re finding the inclusion of terms or phrases you specifically wish to avoid, simply introduce the exclusion modifier to remove them from the results.

3.       Query AND query — The Query Combiner

How it works: using “AND” within search will make sure both your queries appear within each result.

“Jon Ball” AND “Page One Power”

Uses: Narrow your subject within search by combining terms. Searching without the ‘AND’ operator would return results individually featuring either “Jon Ball” or “Page One Power,” as opposed to results featuring both “Jon Ball” and “Page One Power.”

Note: if you don’t use caps, you run the risk of Google thinking it’s a phrase as opposed to an operator.

4.    Query OR query — The Similar Query Search

How it works: Allows you to search for multiple terms.

Example: “Jon Ball” CEO OR Founder OR Owner OR Partner

Uses: Search for multiple/similar phrases and words within one result. Typically the ‘OR’ operator is used for multiple words that express the same idea — i.e., CEO/founder/owner/partner.

5. — The Site Specific Search

How it works: will refine a Google’s search to a single website.

Example: “Jon Ball”

Uses: Finding information within a specific website, especially when using additional search modifiers. This can also be used to narrow down to TLDs (.gov, .com, .edu).

6.    Inurl:query — The URL Specific Search

How it works: Will only return Web pages that have your query in the actual URL.

Example: inurl:Jon Ball

Uses: This search modifier has a variety of uses. Great for finding various online profiles of someone with a unique name, or finding certain types of pages (guest posts, link lists, infographics, forums, etc. etc.), and can be used effectively with site search as well.

7.    Intitle:query — The Title Specific Search

How it works: The intitle:query modifier will refine search to only pages that have your query within their title.

Example: intitle:jon ball

Uses: Very similar to inurl:query, this works well for finding online profiles, different types of pages, and general information regarding your search (since they’ll have the phrase or word in the title).

8.    Filetype:query — The File Specific Search

How it works: Searches only for pages hosting the type of file you specify.

Uses: Finding particular files on a particular subject. Also, as the screenshot shows, it’s a great extra filter to help find a specific piece of content on a specific site.

9.    Related:query — The Related Results Search
How it works: Returns results related to your query. Note: the query can be a website, much as in site search, to return other related websites. However, the website needs to be fairly well known, otherwise related search is unlikely to find anything.


Uses: Exploring the Web, finding pages related to your query, and even finding less well known sites similar to popular sites.

10.    Inpostauthor:query — The Blog Author Search

How it works: Inpostauthor: Also known as blog author search — will search blog posts for the author.

Example: inpostauthor:Jon Ball

Uses: Tracking prolific bloggers across the Web! It should be noted that this search can return pretty broad results, especially if the author’s name isn’t fairly unique.

Adding Creativity — Using Multiple Search Modifiers For Advanced Search

So, we’ve covered the top 10 search modifiers. Now, think creatively to search intelligently.

Alone, these search modifiers can help for slightly better results. But combining them together to create a truly precise search — putting together a search string — is where the magic really happens.

In fact, Dr. Pete of Moz wrote a wonderful post about advanced searching based around the site specific search, titled 25 Killer Combos for Google’s Site: Operator. Seriously, take some time to read through that — it’s a great example of how to combine various operators together to create a targeted search for precise results.

Let’s jump into some examples:

1. Track a competitor’s guest post campaign

Possible searches:
    Inpostauthor:”Firstname Last” –
    Inurl:Guest Post “Firstname Last” –
    Intitle:Guest Post “Firstname Last” –
    “Author: Firstname Last” –
    “Written by Firstname Last” –
    “Author Profile” “Firstname Last”
    “About the Author” “Firstname Last”
    “Author Bio” “Firstname Last”
    Inurl:Author “Firstname last”

As you can see, even combining two together will give you much more precision than one alone.

I have to say my favorite search string for tracking guest posts  is Inurl:author “Firstname Last.” Very simplistic, this search string is great for finding high-quality guest posts, since quality sites tend to make an author page, and the majority of these pages will have “author” in the URL.

Don’t forget to check author bios, either — plenty of people only add slight variation to their bios, allowing you to effectively exact match search for pieces of their bio to track them across the Web.

2. Brand mentions

Of course, there are tools to help with this — Google Alerts, Fresh Web Explorer, and to name a few.

However, Google search can be used to search for brand mentions as well. Typically, it’s not quite as effective as these tools will be, but for those DIYers, or for learning advanced search, it should prove fun.

Here’s a few examples what that might look like: – – “Page One Power” OR “” OR “” OR ““ – – “Jon Ball” OR “Jonathan Ball” OR “CEO of Page One Power” OR “Founder of Page One Power”.

You want to remove social profiles along with your own site. After that, you should be targeting key brand terms, products, and figures within your company. Using the OR operator will allow you to search for multiple terms at once. Until recently Google had a synonym operator in the form of the tilde ( ~ ), but they unfortunately removed it.

3. Obscure files

One of the main reasons to hone your Google skills — the search for the needle in the haystack.

For this example, let’s assume you’re looking for a presentation from a conference you’ve recently attended.

Often times after a conference or event, presenters will self-host presentations due to the frequency at which conference websites update/delete their pages.

There’s a variety of ways presenters can do this — on their own site, on a third-party site (such as slideshare), or through social media.

Rather than manually checking multiple sources, let’s try an advanced Google search:

    “firstname last” filetype:pdf “conference name” –
    “firstname last” “conference name” presentation OR files OR video OR powerpoint –
    “conference name” “presentation title” –
    “conference name” AND “firstname last” presentation OR files OR slides OR video –

There’s a few that should get the ball rolling. The most important thing you can do when using search modifiers is change your search based upon the results, to further hone in your search.

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