Thursday, April 8, 2010

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy - Week 14 - Search Engines

The topic for week 14 of 52 Weeks to Better Genealogy written by Amy Coffin is:

Week 14: Use a different search engine for your online genealogy research. Google is quite popular, but other search engines may provide different results. Try Yahoo! Search, Bing,, Dogpile, and even Clusty. Pick an unusual surname and search it in different engines. Make note of the top 10 page returns for each. If you’re a genealogy blogger, share your observations on this experience.

When I need to do a search for anything, I always turn to Google. It's my homepage on my browser, so it is always there and ready for me. I've learned some of the search techniques to get the best results on Google (even though there are many more that I could learn).

I chose my EISWERTH line to run a search using the search engines that Amy suggested. Then I ran a search with EISWERTH and genealogy. Finally I looked at how far down the list my blog was on the genealogy search results. Here were my results:

Google: 35,400 results with surname only, 951 with surname and genealogy, my blog #11
Yahoo: 39, 600 results (surname only), 207 (with genealogy), my blog #2
Bing: 13, 500 results (surname only), 78 (with genealogy), my blog #8
Ask: 2,300 results (surname only), 61 (with genealogy), my blog #3
Dogpile: 53 results (surname only), 49 (with genealogy), my blog #1
Clusty: 13,100 results (surname only), 116 (with genealogy), my blog #7

It is amazing the differences in the number of results. It's nice to know that my blog is well represented. I need to write more about this line and get it higher on Google. I still think I will stick with Google, but if I ever want to try to find something new I know know other search engines to use.


  1. Have you ever tried a surname search on Google books? I have had good success finding lots of obscure references that have aided my genealogy research by using the Google book search function. Some of the books I would have never been able to track down on my own!

  2. Tina, I liked the way you broke down your results. I have started using Google Chrome as a browser and somehow it provides different search results than if I simply use Google. I have nominated you for the Ancestor Approved Award. Please stop by my blog, Those Who Went Before to pick up your badge and complete the requirements. Keep up the good work.