The world has changed. Rewind just five years ago and you Googled for everything, now there really is an app for just about anything you would want to do. Here’s how prevalnt apps have become – the average smartphone owner in the US has more than 100 apps on their smartphone and spends 127 minutes a day using them (source). While website owners live and die by their Google rankings, app-makers live and die by their app store rankings.
Enter domain names. Take a look at the website for some of your favorite apps, they tend to either give a very quick intro to what the app does or in some cases it just has the logo with badges for which app store(s) you can find the app on. Take Jelly for example which you can see at Jelly.co:
As you can see, it’s simple and while you can watch an intro video or browse the navigation at the bottom the focus of the site is clear, get to the app store and download the app. In the case of Jelly it actually also happens to rank #1 in Google for Jelly outranking Jelly.com by a pretty large margin. That being said, Jelly isn’t focused on their Google rankings, they make an app.
Let’s look at one of the other hottest apps out there, Vine, also located on Vine.co:
Notice any similarities? Same focus, go to the app store and download the app. Also, just like Jelly, even though Google rankings don’t matter, Vine.co also ranks #1 in Google when you search for Vine. The point? Even though app-makers aren’t focused on Google rankings, plenty of apps rank #1 in Google outranking the .COM version.
So here’s the question. As an app-maker that doesn’t care about Google rankings (and knowing that in fact you can rank #1 in Google without the .COM) why would you care about having a .COM? Heck, Secret.ly just raised $10M on a $50M valuation, yes their called secret, and all you do is go to the app store, type “secret” and there’s the app. Welcome to 2014, a world where all of us have an Internet-connected computer in our pocket and where habits are changing every single year.
I think .COM is king, I think it will always have the highest resale price and the best liquidity. If you invest in domains go .COM or go home. However if you’re an app-maker I think it’s pretty clear now that you don’t need a .COM to be a success.
What do you think? Comment and let your voice be heard!