from ProGenealogists, Inc. on May 19, 2010:
ProGenealogists, Inc., announced today that it has again identified the 50 most popular genealogy websites, updating an important and useful tool for the world’s family history searchers. Kory Meyerink, Vice-President at ProGenealogists, explained that today’s online genealogists face thousands of websites and millions of web pages that might contain information about their ancestors. “They can’t search them all, so for the past three years, we have been tracking the most visited sites. Simply put, if thousands of other family researchers found a site to be useful, all researchers should know about such sites and check them out,” said Meyerink.
The study was designed in a manner similar to the popular “places rated” lists that appear regularly in the media. By ranking the websites on different criteria, and then averaging those rankings, a consensus list of the most popular sites emerges. In addition to popular and well-known Alexa.com, the other companies, whose rankings are all based on different web traffic criteria, used in this study were Compete.com, Quantcast.com and Ranking.com.
This year’s list shows some significant changes from the 2009 list, reflecting shifts in the importance and popularity of some websites. While many well-known sites remain on the list, seven sites moved into the top 50 from lower positions; while one site did not even exist for the last list. Two websites jumped all the way into the top ten, with FamilyLink.com moving from number 80 up to second place. At number eight is USGenWebArchives.net, which was not previously ranked. A new subscription site, Archives.com, was just launched in July of 2009 and debuts in this list at number 41. According to Meyerink, “They are aggressively advertising on other websites, which has garnered them a lot of traffic. They’ll almost certainly be in the top ten next year.”
Other interesting changes include growing popularity for relative newcomers, the subscription site GenealogyBank.com (19) and the free data site, Genealogytrails.com (25), each of which has jumped at least 10 spots in each of the past two years. Another free search site, GenealogyBuff.com moved up over 100 places into the 27 slot from 134 last year.
“It goes to show that the genealogy space on the web remains fluid and that people continue to look for data about their families,” said Natalie Cottrill, President and CEO of ProGenealogists. “The presence of six data-rich sites among the first eight is expected. The changing popularity of social networking sites is interesting, too, because it reflects current Internet trends. While FamilyLink.com jumped up 78 positions, MyHeritage.com remained steady in the number three slot. Meanwhile, two other similar sites, Geni.com and MyFamily.com dropped from the top ten into the 30s.” The largest data site, Ancestry.com, is a subscription based site and remains number one. With nine subscription sites in the top 50, it’s clear that people are willing to invest in their heritage. Several special focus sites are also popular, including several devoted to cemetery and census information. To see the complete list of 2010’s 50 most popular genealogy sites, go to http://www.progenealogists.com/top50genealogy2010.htm.