Google has repeatedly stated that new gTLD domain names do not receive any type of boost over .com domain names or domain names with other extensions. In a 2016 Google Hangout that Barry Schwartz hosted with Google’s John Mueller, it was stated that the keywords in the new domain extensions do not count for ranking purposes (Google supposedly ignores them).
Despite Google’s repeated reminders of this, people still seem to speculate that the opposite could be true, and that the new gTLD extensions could have a positive impact in search.
Google recently launched the .App domain name extension to much fanfare. As of yesterday, the company has sold over 210,000 .App domain names, as reported by Google engineer Ben McIlwain on Twitter last night. Without a doubt, this is one of the most successful launches for a new domain name extension.
Since the launch, I have seen forum and Twitter comments that suggest .App domain names could be given some sort of boost over other extensions. On the 101Domain.com blog, an article was published that questions whether there might be some sort advantage to .App domain names: Google Says .app Domain Helps Apps Get Discovered. The article referenced some marketing copy on Google’s Get.App website that states, “Now, with a unique domain, it’ll be easier for people to find your app.” Here’s a brief excerpt from the 101Domain.com blog post:
“This is a bold statement coming from the search engine giant, Google. The question is, is it just compelling marketing or is Google finally admitting to the fact that top-level domains influence search engine results and ranking?’
With people questioning if .App domain names can be helpful with search results, I reached out to John Mueller on Twitter to ask if there is any sort of boost for .App domain names. As suspected, there is not:
That’s still the case! There’s no preferential treatment for these TLDs in Google Search.
— John ☆.o(≧▽≦)o.☆ (@JohnMu) May 15, 2018
Google may operate the .App registry, but the company stated there is no preferential treatment for .App domain names or for any of the new gTLD domain names. I don’t think Google (the registry) is trying to trick people with its marketing copy, but people should understand that buying a .App domain name – either via registrar or private acquisition – will not give them a boost in search. Perhaps it makes sense to buy something like Blackjack.app (owned by Bill Kara) over GetTheBlackjackApp.com, but that would be for marketing purposes rather than search purposes. It would seem that Blackjack.app and GetTheBlackjackApp.com would be on equal footing when it comes to search.