Refreshing and Rebranding, About.com is Now dotDash

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dotDash

Another web dinosaur has fallen. About.com, which launched in 1999 after two years as The Mining Co. (which employed human guides to answer online queries) was once the place to go to find out pretty much anything, whether it was rock climbing, rock history or Rocky Balboa. Now it is no more. About.com, which was owned for a spell by Primedia, has ceased to be and has crumbled in the last year into a million little pieces. Rising from the rubble: About’s new corporate identity, dotDash.

Well, OK, perhaps only into a few very targeted and freshly branded pieces. The areas of About that were doing better have inspired five standalone verticals that cover health (Verywell), tech (Lifewire), personal finance (The Balance), home and food (The Spruce), and education (ThoughtCo). The corporate umbrella under which these brands resides is no longer About.com but the brand new dotDash, an IAC-owned house of content verticals that’s now developing a sixth vertical, the travel-centric TripSavvy.

“Everyone at dotDash has a little bit of a chip on our shoulder, in that we didn’t inherit this,” CEO Neil Vogel told TechCrunch. “We made it and we’re incredibly proud of it, and we want to go toe-to-toe with big media brands and operate at that level. We want to mix it up and be in the fight.”

While dotDash is the letter A in Morse code, it also represents the red dot that has long been the symbol of About and the dash that is the company’s hope for what it will continue to do into the future. “The dash suggests forward motion and action,” Vogel told Inc. Everyday consumers won’t come across the dotDash name, but instead the five aforementioned verticals.

The shift comes along with changes in the market. Consumers and advertisers are much more comfortable these days with targeted verticals rather than broad, wide-ranging sites. The beauty of these particular targeted verticals is that they each have a deep bench of content to select as About has been covering these areas robustly for many years.

The transition has gone well. Verywell “has grown 63% to 17 million monthly uniques since focusing on branded content creation over chasing search traffic,” AdExchanger reports.

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