What: Digital media company About.com is rebranding as Dotdash, culminating its year-long transformation.
Why it matters: The strategy behind the new site reinvention is to be a collection of verticals with targeted content rather than a one-size-fits-all portal. Spanish-language content is not part of the strategy going forward.
After 18 years, digital media company About.com is rebranding as Dotdash (pronounced “dot-DASH”) with a logo that consists of a large red dot followed by the word Dash, culminating its year-long transformation from a general interest website to a collection of stand-alone vertical brands. Dotdash is now among the fastest-growing publishers online, and its brands are the fastest-growing in their respective categories. the dot-dash combination in Morse code translates to the letter “A.”
The strategy behind the new site reinvention is to be a collection of verticals with targeted content rather than a one-size-fits-all portal.
Built upon 20 years of expert-written content and audience data, Dotdash’s brands help over 100 million users each month find answers, solve problems, and get inspired. Dotdash brands include Verywell (health), The Spruce (home), The Balance (personal finance), Lifewire (tech), ThoughtCo (education), and the soon to be launched TripSavvy (travel).
The new name follows a two-year rebranding process, which began with CEO Vogel’s decision to break the portal into five verticals(brands) and it will likely end when it unveils its travel-focused site later this month. The name change will be accompanied by a trade-marketing campaign.Vogel wanted to wait until the verticalization process was at least partly complete so that no matter what people thought of the new name, there was a case to be made that the company was different from the one agencies or brands were familiar with.
About.com will continue existing for a little while and hosting Dotdash’s travel content until TripSavvy launches. Then gradually, About.com will fade. Eighty-five to 90 percent of its content will wind up on one of the vertical sites — Dotdash.com will be a strictly corporate site — and the remainder, like its fashion and Spanish-language posts, will disappear, according to MarketingLand. Those categories “are not part of what we want to do,” said Vogel. Until now, About.com, first as part of the New York Times and later as part of IAC was publishing Spanish-language content for Latin America and the U.S. Hispanic market.
“We help advertisers connect with consumers seeking to take action – manage their health, update their home, oversee their finances, master their tech, plan travel, and so much more,” said Andrew Gorenstein, President of Advertising and Partnerships, Dotdash. “We combine incredible contextual data capabilities with a best-in-class content studio, all in a beautiful, safe, and scaled environment ideal for marketers’ messages.”
“Our new name speaks to the remarkable evolution of our business into a world-class premium publisher. The Dot in Dotdash is a nod to our 20-year history, as a red dot has always been a part of the About.com visual identity, and the dash suggests forward motion and action,” said Neil Vogel, CEO of Dotdash.