The Guardian on Friday announced plans to unite its digital properties under one Web domain: theguardian.com.
It's a bigger undertaking for the London-based news organization than one might think. The process involves moving around millions of URLs created over 15 years, wrote The Guardian's chief digital officer Tanya Cordrey in a blog post announcing the news.
"This may be a small URL change but it marks a big step for the Guardian and reflects our evolution from a much-respected national print newspaper based only in the UK—reaching hundreds of thousands people once a day—to a leading global news and media brand, with offices around the world, and an ever-growing worldwide audience accessing Guardian journalism every minute of every day," she wrote.
In fact, only one-third of The Guardian's Web traffic comes from the UK. One-third comes from the U.S., and the rest is spread across the globe. The company expects the domain move to be completed sometime in the fall.
American readers can currently find The Guardian's U.S. homepage at guardiannews.com, which is produced by a team headquartered in New York. But article pages still appear on a guardian.co.uk address, which has apparently led to some confusion among users. The Guardian is also launching an Australian site soon. Once the new domain is in place, those distinct sites will be under one Web umbrella.
The news organization acquired its new URL from the insurance company Guardian Life in recent months and has not disclosed the price of the acquisition.
Guardian US CEO Michael Bloom explained that the domain shift will help advertisers better understand the company's brand.
"It just helps clarify the message. It certainly helps provide a much more succinct message to Madison Avenue and the advertising market," he told Adweek.
Speaking of advertising plans, The Guardian plans to launch a global effort this summer called Guardian Labs, which will include native advertising opportunities for brands. The Guardian hired Jason Kleinman in March to head up the Labs efforts in the U.S. Previously, Kleinman worked at The New York Times' Idea Lab. Sponsor efforts are already underway at The Guardian U.S., with an HSBC partnership on the site's money vertical.