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About.com Re-brands to Become Dotdash

     
4:13 pm on May 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

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About.com, the long-established site, is to get a re-brand as its owners re-brand it to Dotdash.

About.com will now be known as Dotdash—with a logo that consists of a large red dot, followed by the word Dash—and its strategy is to be a collection of verticals with targeted content rather than a one-size-fits-all portal.


[fortune.com...]

Each of the new verticals is bringing new traffic and new revenue opportunities for the business, according to the company's CEO, Neil Vogel.
4:24 pm on May 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I'm one of the 'Expert' volunteers at About.com. Nobody told me :)

The new site w/ TLD and branding is already live. Wow, the things that happen when you're not paying attention. Seems the allexperts.com part is now at thoughtco.com
After more than 19 years, and over two million questions answered, AllExperts.com is now closed. We apologize for any inconvenience.

You can find our latest Expert-answered content at Thoughtco.com ThoughtCo is a Dotdash brand and part of the IAC family of websites.

Well, if I really cared that much I would have stayed in the loop I guess. But still, you'd think they would have contacted us. A lot of people worked very hard. I know I put in quite a few hours of work over the 15 or so years there.

[fix typo]

[edited by: keyplyr at 4:58 pm (utc) on May 2, 2017]

4:39 pm on May 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Really! That's awful treatment.
4:53 pm on May 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Interesting article. It states that in 2012 it paid $300M for the site. Lower down they provide and estimates of the monthly users for the best performing verticals. With a little math and a lot of fudging, $300M buys you 30M monthly users or 10$ a users, but lets be conservative say 60M users a month that is still $5 a user. Even a 1$ a user is insane.

Either I am not monetizing my site correctly or their math doesn't add up. How can anyone pay 5$ per monthly user?
9:29 pm on May 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Dot-dash/ex-About.com's CEO must have been in a more cynical mood when he was interviewed for The Verge's article:

About.com, the general interest site even its CEO doesn't care for, is going away
[theverge.com...]

As for hoping that the rebranding will attract advertisers, I'm skeptical. Ten years ago? Maybe. But how much advertising is bought the way it was a decade ago?
11:12 pm on May 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Wow, this is what happens when people who are out of touch with how Internet marketing works get put in charge. Their entire content strategy is to optimize their pages for Google and rely on search traffic. That's it.

...will bet on traffic from search and optimize content to what people are Googling for — similar to how you might have heard of About.com in the first place.


The weird thing is that they seem to be vaguely aware there is something wrong with their strategy:

“This is either going to work and be a great success or we're going to crash the plane as we're flying it ..."


Their CEO appears to have a vague awareness that there might something wrong. But apparently he does not have the background or experience to know what it is.

Good luck on that!

Roger Montti
12:12 am on May 3, 2017 (gmt 0)

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This is either going to work and be a great success or we're going to crash the plane as we're flying it ...

This is a plane that's already up in the air as we speak, isn't it?

:: insert reference to changing horses in midstream ::
1:37 am on May 3, 2017 (gmt 0)

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This is a plane that's already up in the air as we speak, isn't it?

:: insert reference to changing horses in midstream ::
Unfortunately for the passengers, today's pilot has decided that fuel is not a necessity and neither is reaching the destination. I'm surprised that Google hasn't headhunted this chap. :)

Regards...jmcc
4:30 am on May 3, 2017 (gmt 0)

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While there, I was able to seed quite a few backlinks. Now that those are gone, I wonder if the slight ranking hit I saw a few weeks back was related. About.com & AllExperts.com did have some good juice even if they were a dead horse.
1:27 pm on May 3, 2017 (gmt 0)

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i will stay with /. thank you..
1:34 pm on May 3, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@keyplyr, that's interesting to me too as we had several links on About's "evergreen" content.

To all your naysayers, I did have an opportunity to work with a writer who was a lead in my niche on About.com . Her content was of very good quality, somewhat generic and maybe only good for a blog section if you are trying to be an authority. Nevertheless deserves a praise.

@martinibuster, how else would he say it? And if he had a good strategy, would he reveal it in a public interview and why? Good CEOs just give generic hope-and-change public interviews. And again, bad CEOs do the same, so it's hard to read one from just an article. Them focusing on niche sites would seem to be a better strategy over "all things to all people".
3:41 pm on May 3, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Wikipedia meets jeopardy. The thoughtco site does seem quite impressive. Of the subjects I searched for, the results were returned very quickly and were of good quality.

Not sure how a re-branding/domain move helps with search engines directly, though maybe they'll be better liked/linked to under their new names.
9:58 pm on May 3, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Thoughts on how soon dot-dash becomes dotdotdot-dashdashdash-dotdotdot?
10:10 pm on May 3, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Something to watch, kiddies. This is for all those who think that changing their domain name will rescue them from monetary drought....
4:57 pm on May 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

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They built traffic to the new sites before shutting down About.com, and they are redirecting About.com links to the new sites (albeit sometimes to different content than was at the original link). They seem to be using evergreen content from About.com to create a significant traffic flow to the new sites pending... I'm not sure what. They're also touting expert reviewers on their health site, which I suspect is to give that site's content an additional air of authority under Google's search quality rating guidelines.

I've been seeing these sites pop up in the SERPs for months now, often with excellent placement, but if their present business model is more than "Let's hope for enough page views and ad clicks on our mostly recycled articles to float and perhaps expand these sites", it's not immediately apparent to me from the new sites.
8:54 pm on May 13, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Thoughts on how soon dot-dash becomes dotdotdot-dashdashdash-dotdotdot?


The name is inherently confusing if you ask me, and according to the article was selected because it has some similarity to the old About.com logo.

I notice "dot-dash.com" is parked at GoDaddy. They'll probably also have people trying "dot-.com," '.dash.com," and "dot.dash," lol.