No Preferential Treatment for .App Domain Names

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 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 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:

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 (owned by Bill Kara) over, but that would be for marketing purposes rather than search purposes. It would seem that and would be on equal footing when it comes to search.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. So, won’t come up on the serps for key words “blood donor app”? I believe right of the dot will be positioned well for these dot app domains that make sense.

  2. Registrars will leap to just about any conclusion to try and sell some more domains.

    The argument of preferential treatment is very similar to .mobi where people speculated that phone companies would add a “.mobi button”. The question was always, why would any phone company add a .mobi button it makes no sense for anyone except .mobi domainers?

    The same is true for .app, why would Google give them preference? This is a loss making venture for Google, they aren’t going to destroy their reputation and face EU fines to try and sell a few more.

  3. Probably no preferential treatment, but one could conservatively say the .app tlds won’t suffer from being owned by Google and that perception, albeit misplaced, of preferential treatment helps general demand and thereby value.

    • >> .app tlds won’t suffer from being owned by Google


      though in the same way boycott campaigns like #deleteuber, #deletefacebook, etc could gain momentum at any time, a campaign to #boycottgoogle the monopolist could hypothetically effect .app in the future, which likely would never happen with .com

      for example, even elon’s worried about google’s AI becoming skynet


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Recent Posts

.Bet Domain Name Acquired for 5 Figures, Reportedly Resold for $600k

According to a tweet from Identity Digital (formerly Donuts), the domain name reportedly sold for $600,000. I have not verified or researched the...

Finalize a Deal by Connecting on LinkedIn

When I agree to a negotiated deal on a platform like Dan or Sedo, I have always held the expectation that the payment will...

Google Ads Selects Squadhelp for Case Study

If you have visited a Squadhelp landing page, chances are good that you have seen their advertising when you visit other websites that have...

Reliance is “More than Metal” Following Upgrade

Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. has existed as a business for more than 80 years and is publicly traded under the RS ticker symbol...

What to do with an Unused Domain Name

A person who has long owned a 3 letter .com domain name reached out to me to try and sell it. It's a nice...