Nico Canova

How Our Company URL Domain Finder Works

Jun 18
Website Domain

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 we get returns the most accurate results and why it's the go-to company URL finder on the web.

Converting Company Names to Domains

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.

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Option 1: Manually Searching for Company Domains

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!

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Manual Searches Waste Precious Selling Time

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?

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Option 2: Live Data—the Quick Company URL Finder

In essence, we do all of this—and more. I can't divulge every single insight, but suffice to say, we use 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.

Googling by Script

We take 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, Live Data 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.

We use 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, we:

  1. Take your company name and adds "home page" and other terms to a Google query
  2. Check the title, meta description, and domain for similarity to the company name
  3. Filter out company directories like LinkedIn
  4. If there are multiple candidates, then we dig deeper and compare
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Getting Fuzzy

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).

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Saving You Time & Getting Better Everyday

Live Data doesn't just return company names, it actually makes a private, internal record of each query. That way, when another person uses us 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!