In January 2007, FirstGov.gov announced that it changed its name to USA.gov.
We did it because you asked us to. Feedback from the public told us that we need a name that is easier to understand and remember. We pay attention to our visitors and here's what we know:
- Last year, more than 600,000 people typed "usa.gov" into their web browser when searching for government information.
- In a 2006 telephone survey, 79 percent of respondents preferred the name USA.gov.
- USA.gov is intuitive—it describes what our site is: the U.S. government online.
- We regularly get e-mail from the public telling us that they don't like the name "FirstGov" and that we should change it. Our colleagues tell us the same message.
- Spanish speakers responded positively to GobiernoUSA.gov as the new name for the Spanish-language portal. This name gives assurance that the user is on a government site.
New Features on USA.gov
- Visitors to the United States Gateway
We know that about 25% of visitors to USA.gov come from outside the United States. This group includes people who wish to visit, study, or do business with the United States. There is a great deal of U.S. government information available for this audience, and the Visitors to the United States gateway will make it easier for them to locate and use the information and services that they need.
- Web Chat
Because GSA is dedicated to responding as quickly as possible to citizens’ requests for information and help, USA.gov now features “Online Personal Assistance.” In addition to calling toll-free 1 (800) FED-INFO or sending an e-mail, people can now get help through live web chat Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern Time.
What are you doing to make this transition easier for websites that link to you?
There are about 5 million links to USA.gov, and anyone who clicks a link to FirstGov.gov will be automatically and seamlessly redirected to USA.gov. We will also perform outreach to state and federal government websites to let them know of the change so they can update their links and graphics.
Where can I find a USA.gov or GobiernoUSA.gov graphic to use on my website?
USA.gov and GobiernoUSA.gov are public domain websites, which means you may link to them at no cost. You'll find USA.gov logo graphics on our Link to Us page, and you also may download GobiernoUSA.gov logos.
What will happen when people type in FirstGov.gov and espanol.gov?
Visitors who have bookmarked FirstGov.gov or espanol.gov links, or who type in the old FirstGov.gov and espanol.gov URLs, will be automatically redirected to USA.gov and GobiernoUSA.gov. The redirects will work for any existing FirstGov.gov or espanol.gov URL (not just the home pages) and will be in place indefinitely.
What will you do to promote awareness of the new name?
- A nationwide television, radio, and print public service campaign will be released in spring 2007.
- The name change will receive prominent mentions in 10 million Consumer Information Catalogs and half a million 2007 Consumer Action Handbooks that are widely distributed nationwide.
- Our new logos and links are featured on the home pages of federal, state, and local government websites.
- Special promotions will appear on the back of approximately 17 million federal tax refund checks processed in February and April, 2007.