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Top 100 Most Popular Genealogy Websites for 2012

 

GenealogyInTime Magazine has put together a global list of the Top 100 Most Popular Genealogy Websites. This is the first time a comprehensive list has been published of the most popular genealogy websites from around the world. Other genealogy lists exist, but they tend to focus on only one country, on only certain types of genealogy websites, or the list contains personal preferences.

For the latest list of the top genealogy websites, please see the article Top 100 Genealogy Websites of 2014.

Since our mission at GenealogyInTime Magazine is to find creative and innovative ways to help people connect with their ancestors, we thought it would be useful to publish an objective Top 100 list that was both comprehensive and complete.

The Top 100 list is the end product of an extensive and exhaustive evaluation of thousands of genealogy websites from many different countries. By reading this article, you will gain insight into the genealogy industry, and hopefully you will discover some interesting new genealogy websites.

Methodology

When evaluating a potential genealogy website, the first step was to determine the objective of the website. We focused on websites whose primary function is genealogy. In other words, to be considered a genealogy website, the primary audience for the website had to be someone looking for their ancestors. This definition naturally excludes websites designed for a broader audience, such as:

• Library, museum and general archive websites.
• Scrapbooking websites.
• University websites.
• Wide-ranging government websites.
• General knowledge websites (such as Wikipedia).

Although all these excluded websites can contain some genealogy data, there is no way to ascertain how much of the popularity of the website is due to genealogy. In addition, to prevent double counting, it could not be a web portal with the exact same material as another genealogy website. The genealogy website had to contain at least some content that was unique to the website to be counted in the Top 100 List.

The next step was to measure the popularity of the genealogy website. Two factors can be used to measure a website’s popularity: the number of inbound links to the website and the amount of internet traffic to the website. The number of inbound links to a website is essentially the number of other websites that link to a given website. The number of inbound links provides a relative indication of the popularity and importance of a website. As described in the box below, this method can not longer be used to judge the popularity of a website.

At one time, the Google ‘link:’ command could be used to determine the number of links to a particular website. Although this command still exists, it now only shows a subset of all the links to a specified website. Google changed (dumbed down) this command a couple of years ago in response to websites known as link farms that were set up with the specific intention of gaming Google to get more links for particular websites. Thus, there is no way to accurately gauge the number of inbound links to a particular website. As a result, we did not use inbound links to measure a website’s popularity.
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