I’ve seen some press regarding the recently introduced .Church domain names. This morning, Hover reported that .Church “has debuted at no.8 on this week’s Top 20 gTLDs.” I wanted to have a look to see if any .Church domain names were being used by churches, and I shared some of what I found below.
Based on a Google search of “site:.church,” I want to share 10 churches that I found that have their .Church websites indexed in Google. I did not check to see if these churches are using alternative domain names as well, but I did click through to be sure that the .Church domain names listed in Google were actual websites rather than forwarders, simple landing pages, or something else.
10 churches using .Church:
While doing my search, one thing that I found interesting is that there are some .Church domain names listed in Google, but clicking on the link takes visitors to other websites that aren’t using the .Church extension. For instance, LHC.church is indexed in Google, but clicking the link took me to lighthousegb.com. I am not sure how they are able to have a .Church domain name indexed in Google when it doesn’t appear that it is being used aside from forwarding. I suppose that is a question for a SEO expert.
The article I linked to in the first sentence mentions “brand protection,” and while it would be pretty scummy for someone to use a religious domain name for “crazy things bad people could dream up,” I wouldn’t be surprised to see registrars market these domain names using the brand protection angle. In my opinion, there is limited commercial appeal for domain investors for this extension, so this might be a good extension to follow to see just how much churches adopt this new gTLD extension and move to .Church domain names.
Obviously the number of churches using .Church domain names right now pales in comparison to the number of churches worldwide that have websites. It will be interesting to compare the number of .Church websites today to the number in a year to see if the extension is a success or not.