30 December 2007

Genealogy sites: 9 million visits monthly

Those of us who research our ancestry know how popular genealogy is around the world. However, it's even better when sites devoted to trends recognize and validate what we know to be true.

Genealogy was among the top 10 gaining categories by percentage change in numbers of unique US visitors, according to ComScore.com. The survey was made among home, work and university Internet users.

According to the company's press release of November 20, 2007, the number of unique visitors to genealogy sites rose from 8,265,000 in September 2007 to 8,892,00 in October 2007, with an 8% rise.

According to a just-published Forbes Magazine genealogy story, the number mentioned was higher:

For the past year, genealogy-related Web-traffic has held steady at about 9.1 million U.S. visitors per month, according to ComScore (nasdaq: SCOR - news - people ) data, but newcomers to the business hope to steal that traffic from the old guard of sites and grow it into a huge audience of repeat-visitors.

The story also notes that during the holiday season it might seem that genealogy sites would receive more traffic, but that's not what happens:

"You'd think people would get to talking with family, and then look online," says Bill Tancer, general manager of global research at Web-tracking firm Hitwise, who notes that the holidays are actually a low point for genealogy sites, as people on vacation have less computer time.

The Forbes story also speaks extensively about the social networking site Geni.com.


  1. Anonymous5:23 AM

    Which sites are the best to build your family tree?
    Have you heard about www.famillion.com? They are supposed to have the best genealogy software as they merge family trees considering it like DNA information. Do you know more about it?

    Best regards,

  2. Hi, Felicitas,

    Thanks for writing.

    Yes, I know about Famillion.

    Personally, I prefer MyHeritage.com, also an Israeli company, for a variety of important reasons.

    1. The founders and staff at MyHeritage are genealogists and understand the needs of genealogists. This is not the case at Famillion.

    2. The features of fantastic photo handling, the very easy online Family Tree Builder, and the excellent genealogy search engine that now searches 1,400+ (more are added frequently) genealogically-relevant websites at the click of a button are among features I use frequently with great results.

    4. What is also very useful for all genealogists is the multi-lingual, dual-language text entry capability of MyHeritage. Researchers can enter text in English, and if you choose Hebrew as the dual language, whatever you type in English will automatically also appear in Hebrew, making it easy to share information with family in Israel. Some 15 languages/combinations are available.

    One problem at Famillion.com is their claim that they plan to have every Jew in the world in their database. They first announced this would happen in 2007, and the genealogical world thought it was a silly thing to do. Now they've pushed it back to 2008, and it is still silly.

    Jewish genealogists and others in the Jewish world feel this is a disconnect from reality, and many prominent people have commented negatively on this claim.

    Researchers need to differentiate between social networking sites and genealogy sites. While genealogists understand the difference between these two formats, many people do not.

  3. Anonymous7:01 AM

    the thing with myheritage is it costs money, and for someone like me who is interested in his famliy tree just for fun, well, then...
    i like famillion, but then again, i'm not a genealogist.

  4. Hi, Felicitas,

    Thanks for writing again.

    Basic family sites at MyHeritage.com are absolutely free and offer excellent features.

    The amazing search engine is free. Photo handling is free.
    The online Family Tree Builder is free to download and use.

    People with very large trees who need more capacity can pay for more space if they need it now or upgrade when they do require more capacity.

    But if you don't need more space, everything is free.

    Best wishes,