For several years, there has been discussion about Google downplaying the role of domain names and their importance. To an extent, domain names may be less important than they once were, greatly due to search engine changes and advances, but they are still essential and play a crucial role in navigation, brand marketing, email deliverability, connectivity, and other aspects related to web presence.
One concerning development for domain investors has been Google’s de-emphasis of domain names over the last several years. Some examples of this include former Google search team leader Matt Cutts’ comments about keyword domain names, Google’s using the navigation bar for searches, and Google’s removal of domain names in mobile searches. It has appeared that Google would like to reduce the importance of domain names, and that would obviously impact the value of domain names to some degree.
Recently, however, Google announced that domain names and site icons would be shown in search results. In response to a tweet about the change, Danny Sullivan, the Public Search Liaison at Google commented about the importance of domain names while answering a question on Twitter:
Domain names are the most important part of URLs; these haven’t been removed, because we agree this is important to show.
— Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) January 17, 2020
This isn’t super groundbreaking of course. Domain names are the most important part of URLs. It’s what distinguishes whether someone is visiting Chase.com or a website pretending to be Chase Bank. That being said, the affirmation that domain names play a crucial role in search navigation is nice to see from a Google representative.