Get an inside look at how Name2Domain finds company URLs
Updated on October 12, 2020
No more manually searching company after company or spending hours of your day cleaning up your CRM contacts. Name to domain conversion tools simplify your sales process, saving you time for more important tasks.
Learn how Name2Domain gets returns the most accurate results and why it's the go-to company URL finder on the web.
Let's say you have a list of company names and you need to convert them all to correct company domains. Maybe you're in the midst of a CRM cleaning or data enrichment project. Either way, you've come upon a roadblock: you have company names and you're trying to integrate with a service that only reads domains. In that case, you have two options.
Well, if you do it manually, you'll probably Google each company name and look at the results. You'd settle on the obvious home page, and copy and paste the domain into your spreadsheet mapping the company name to the domain.
Unfortunately, with Googling, the right answer is not always the top result. Sometimes the top result is a YellowPages.com, Yelp, or LinkedIn page. You obviously skip those!
Sometimes it's just not clear what the right one is, so you have to open the page and click around to see if it's actually the company homepage.
This all takes time, and you don't have it. Wouldn't it be killer if this could be automated?
In essence, Name2Domain does all of this—and more. I can't divulge every single insight, but suffice to say, N2D uses Google the same way that you would, except we use computer scripts (Ruby scripts, to be precise) and instead of using Google.com, we use Google CSE.
N2D takes what you would do and programmatically does all of it in less than one second using Google's search engine API—Google CSE.
Real quick: an API is an Application Programming Interface. APIs are commonly used for data retrieval on the customer end. They allow customers to make a request to the host's webserver and obtain the data they need. In this case, Name2Domain is the customer and Google CSE is the API provider. The data results you get from APIs aren't all dressed up like a webpage you may visit. They are raw results, typically in the JSON and XML text formats.
N2D uses the Google CSE API to interact with Google. If for some reason Google doesn't give us usable results, then we fall back to Bing Web Search, part of the Microsoft Azure API platform.
To make the process simple, Name2Domain:
The field of natural language processing (NLP) is rife with wizardry and mathematics. We use a rubygem (that's a software library) based on Levenshtein distance to figure out if domains, titles, and meta descriptions match the company name you enter.
Real Quick: Levenshtein distance is the number that tells you how different 2 sequences are. It was created by Soviet mathemetician Vladimir Levenshtein in 1965. Wikipedia simplifies it as, "the Levenshtein distance between two words is the minimum number of single-character edits (insertions, deletions or substitutions) required to change one word into the other."
This area of NLP is also called "fuzzy string matching." Turns out this field has many applications in web scraping, and is particularly useful for comparing user-generated input against a database of information (e.g. the entire Internet).
Name2Domain doesn't just return company names, it actually makes a private, internal record of each query. That way, when another person uses N2D to search the same query, it returns results even faster!
You may be thinking, "Hey, that's not fair!" but you benefit from the queries of others before you. That's the whole idea!