About.com Rebrands as Dotdash After Breaking Up Into Niche Sites
About.com, one of the oldest and most general websites on the internet, has officially changed its name to Dotdash as of Tuesday. The rebranding comes after a year-long process of splitting the site into several verticals focused on specific topics such as health, tech, personal finance, home and education.
The new name is meant to reflect the company's evolution from a single destination to a network of sites that cover various interests and passions. The dot is a reference to the period that was part of the original logo, while the dash is a symbol of moving forward and connecting with what's next.
According to CEO Neil Vogel, the decision to rebrand was driven by the changing needs and preferences of online audiences, who are looking for more specialized and authoritative content rather than broad and generic information. He said that the old About.com model was no longer sustainable or relevant in today's digital landscape.
\"We realized that we had this amazing asset that was being held back by its structure,\" Vogel said. \"We had great content, great writers, great editors, but we were trying to be all things to all people.\"
By creating separate sites for each topic, Dotdash aims to provide more depth, quality and engagement for its readers and advertisers. The company claims that its traffic has grown by 50% since it started launching the new sites last year, reaching over 90 million monthly unique visitors in March. It also says that its revenue has increased by 35% year-over-year.
Some of the sites under the Dotdash umbrella include Verywell (health), Lifewire (tech), The Balance (personal finance), The Spruce (home), ThoughtCo (education) and TripSavvy (travel). The company plans to launch more sites in the future, as well as expand its video and social media presence.
\"We're not trying to be everything to everyone, we're trying to be something to someone,\" Vogel said. \"We want to be the best place on the internet for our topics.\"
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The rebranding of About.com as Dotdash was part of a successful turnaround strategy that started in 2013, when Vogel took over the struggling site that was once a dominant source of online information. He decided to scrap the old model of having generalist writers cover a wide range of topics and instead focused on creating specialized sites with expert content and clear identities.
\"We realized that About.com was a great idea in 1997, but it wasn't a great idea in 2017,\" Vogel said in an interview with The New York Times in 2017. \"We had to do something radical.\"
By 2020, Dotdash had become one of the fastest-growing digital publishers in the U.S., generating more than $200 million in revenue and $50 million in profit. It also acquired several online brands, such as Brides, Byrdie and Liquor.com, to expand its portfolio.
With the acquisition of Meredith, Dotdash aims to leverage its expertise in digital media and search engine optimization to boost the online presence and performance of some of the most iconic magazine brands in the country. Vogel said he plans to invest more in content, technology and marketing for the Meredith titles, as well as launch new digital products and services.
\"We have a proven playbook for taking amazing brands and making them even better online,\" Vogel said in a statement. \"We can't wait to get started.\"