2016 marks the fifth year in a row that Genealogy In Time Magazine has ranked genealogy websites worldwide.
This ranking is far more than a popularity contest, utilizing statistical information from Alexa, an internet analysis tool which measures not only traffic (clicks) but how long a visitor spent on a website and how many pages they visited. In other words, Alexa tries to measure not just if you went there, but if you found value and utilized the content.
You can see their Top 100 list here. I suggest that you also take time to read the associated commentary – the article is 10 pages long – because they have some very insightful analysis and observations. For example, DNA is moving up, fewer sites are run by individuals and one of 7 genealogy site visits is to Ancestry.com in one flavor or another.
I particularly like the fact that their ranking is worldwide, because genealogy is also becoming more international as records in other countries become increasingly accessible and as DNA connects us. Additionally, more international professional genealogists are becoming highly visible, like Yvette Hoitink with her very successful Dutch Genealogy blog. No, she’s not in the 100 sites listed, but then again, her blog and focus is very specific – the Netherlands. However, genealogy and genetic genealogy is becoming dramatically more accessible internationally due to the visibility generated on the web by the larger commercial genealogy sites combined with specialty sites and services such as Yvette’s. It was only in 2012 that I made the fateful statement that my Dutch genealogy line was beyond my reach – which prompted Yvette to show me that it was not – which started an amazing journey.
The bad news is that because of the way ranking was done by international site, Ancestry takes up three slots of the top 10 which means that Family Tree DNA is ranked at #11. I was thrilled to see a DNA testing company listed so high in the rankings though, which tells me how far we’ve come in the past few years. GedMatch, my favorite genetic genealogy tool site is also listed at #20.
Another favorite of mine, Judy Russell’s The Legal Genealogist is listed at number 76 and is one of only three blogs on the list. Not only is Judy’s blog amazing, but so is Judy in person, so if you ever get the opportunity to see her speak, take it, regardless of the topic. Whoever thought I’d ever WANT to listen to an attorney. (Sorry Judy.)
And yes, in case you were wondering, my blog, www.DNA-eXplained.com is there too, at number 92. That really made me smile and was great news to wake up to this morning. My blog wasn’t on the list last year, but the article indicated that it’s ranking has increased by 31 locations, so apparently last year I would have been at 123.
Thank you everyone who has visited this site and found useful information. Given that I provide my blog as a service to the genetic genealogy community, I have never sought or focused on “rankings” or viewed them as a measurement of success – but it does feel good to be recognized by virtue of visitor site usage as a valuable contributor, especially since most websites on the list are corporate – so the competition is stiff.
Speaking of blogs, although unfortunately not on this list, I subscribe to Canada’s Anglo-Celtic Connections, which is where I found out about the Genealogy in Time article. John Reid provides a lot of great information and not just to Canadian genealogists. Thanks John.
I want to thank Genealogy in Time Magazine for their efforts in gathering the information, doing the analysis and producing this list. That undertaking is not trivial.
I found several sites I wasn’t aware of on the Top 100 list. No, I don’ know how that happened. I must have been sleeping under a rock with my double helix, because obviously a lot of other people knew about these sites. So now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go and visit some new websites! There might be some ancestral tidbit waiting for me. MooseRoots, here I come….