About: The site is designed to improve the public’s interaction with the U.S. government by quickly directing website visitors to the services or information they’re looking for and inviting the public to share ideas to improve government.
The site links to every federal agency and to state, local, and tribal governments. It is the most comprehensive site in—and about—the U.S. government. Though the primary target audience of USA.gov is the American public, around 25 percent of the site’s visitors come from outside the U.S.
History: The whole thing got started when Internet entrepreneur Eric Brewer offered to donate a powerful search engine to the government. The gift sped up work to create a government-wide portal. The site was launched September 22, 2000 as FirstGov.gov and in 2007 the name was changed to USA.gov.
Visitors can get information in a number of different ways:
Search – basic search is only available
Browse – can browse by topic (About the U.S., Benefits, Grants, and Loans, Disasters and Emergencies etc.).
Index – A-Z Index of U.S. Government Departments and Agencies
Site Index – an alphabetical list of all the pages on USA.gov that are not listings in agency directories.
Call/Live Chat/Email – representatives can answer website visitors’ questions about federal agencies, programs, benefits, or services.
E-mail alerts – to learn when new content is added to the site’s most popular sections.