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This idea was more prevalent a few years ago before ICANN changed the rules and somewhat effectively blocked 'domain tasting'. However that doesn't mean that someone with more money wouldn't still be trying something similar now.
Seems to be a theory that could be tested with a limited amount of time input. Simply create a fake business to test search some unused but feasible names ... wait and re-search. Starting with bazaar names would make spotting it easier (who really needs pbj-is-for-me-123.com). But if you would give bad people any credit you would think they might have filters of their own to not claim completely useless names.
I would also ask ... 1. who are you whois-ing with? and 2. is there any stated policy by that company that they do not sell the search data?
p.s. ... pbj-is-for-me-123.com is not currently registered. So if it is tomorrow I am having a talk with my registrar. :-)
3 years, 1 month ago on Domain Name Search: Something is Not Right