About.com, one of the internet’s oldest and most familiar websites, is about to fully fade to memory. The IAC-based company has been slowly dismantling its content from an all-in-one site to branded vertical sites, including Verywell (Health), Lifewire (Tech), The Balance (personal finance), The Spruce (home and food) and ThoughtCo (education). And today, About.com is ditching its old name for a new one: Dotdash.
Fun fact: DotDash is the letter “A” in Morse Code.
CEO Neil Vogel, who has led the transition of the company since 2014, told TechCrunch that Dotdash is an homage to the little red dot that has always been a part of the About.com logo (dot), as well as the forward-looking sentiment of the company (to dash).
To be clear, Dotdash is a trading brand name, not a consumer-facing brand. It’s the umbrella corporation that the new Dotdash sales team will use to speak to clients and advertisers, as well as the name that will be used to represent all five media brands within the larger IAC.
Vogel says that the transition of the company is going incredibly well, with DotDash now serving more than 100 million users across its various brands.
The company has strategically designed its websites to serve the demographics that frequent them. For example, The Spruce is built specifically for a shallow and broad browsing experience, where one could find themselves browsing across inspirational decor ideas and yummy meals. On the other hand, Verywell and Lifewire focus on a much more deep and narrow browsing experience, as one typically visits a health site or a tech help site with a specific issue or problem in mind.
Vogel also sees an opportunity in the ecommerce space, as 15 to 20 percent of Lifewire’s revenue is now coming from affiliate sales.
And the transition from all-in-one to vertical brands isn’t quite done — the company has one more vertical to launch in the form of TripSavvy, for travelers.
“Everyone at Dotdash has a little bit of a chip on our shoulder, in that we didn’t inherit this,” said Vogel. “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.”