Tuesday 5 April 2016

A trio of Irish sites appears in the Genealogy In Time Top 100 genealogy websites 2016 report

I've been crazily busy over the last four weeks with other work commitments, but while I haven't been blogging as much as usual, I've kept notes of less time-sensitive stories that I wanted to follow up when I came up for air. I hope to get around to all of these over the next couple of weeks, and I'll start the ball rolling with a look at this year's Genealogy In Time Top 100 Genealogy Websites report, which was published in early March.

Now in its fifth year, this annual report is always well considered. It's not a 'my favourite websites' kind of list; it's an analysis of the popularity of genealogy websites as objectively ranked by Alexa, a company that measures Internet traffic not just by how many people visit a site, but also by the length of their visit and how much content they consume. In addition, the Genealogy In Time team gathers statistical evidence directly from some of the websites.

As you'd expect, the resulting Top 100 list is dominated by the commercial household-name databases. Because of the way the companies divide themselves into geographical 'territories', Ancestry, MyHeritage and FindMyPast have no less than twenty sites between them in the list (six, ten and four sites, respectively). So that's one-fifth of the top 100 spots taken, even before you add in any of their subsidiaries or 'partner' speciality sites.

While I'm sure the bean counters and shareholders of those three businesses are fixated by their own positioning in this league table, I imagine the average researcher finds more interest elsewhere in the list. This is where there are some real surprises to be found. For example, who'd have expected that the Genealogical Society of Finland, a country with a population of 5.4m people, would be the second-most highly ranked society, or that a free family tree site in the Ukraine would slip into the list for the first time just behind Genuki?

Ireland's contribution to the Top 100 comes from just three sites. RootsIreland.ie is the highest ranked, claiming position 56. Ten places behind is FindMyPast.ie. And in 'third' place, ranking at no. 85, is IrishGenealogy.ie.

Irish Genealogy News didn't quite make it this year, having squeezed in with a placing at position 99 in 2015. Never mind; I'm told it hadn't fallen far, and I was delighted that both this blog and my separate website Irish Genealogy Toolkit, found a place in the 'just beyond the Top 100 list' of 'websites worth knowing'.

I'd recommend researchers take a gander through the Top 100 list. You're likely to discover some 'new' websites, but the full article by the Genealogy In Time team is also worth reading; it provides great analysis of the genealogy market.

See the Genealogy In Time Top 100 Genealogy Websites report.