Focus on the Internet
Genealogy is primarily about the exchange of information. With the exception of books and some records, there are few physical products to exchange. This is different from most other fields of endeavour (such as gardening or coin collection), where the physical exchange of product is a major focus.
Most genealogy is also done on the internet. People still visit archives, of course, but the first step for many people is still the internet. Thus, tracking genealogy on the internet is a good way to determine the health of the industry.
Traffic to Genealogy Websites
Alexa is the leading firm that measures internet traffic. They rank approximately 35 million websites worldwide from the most popular website in the world (#1 is Google.com) to some of the most obscure websites in the world. We used Alexa rankings to find the most popular genealogy websites for our article Top 100 Genealogy Websites for 2013.
With the assistance of an outside firm, we were able to translate Alexa rankings into a reasonably accurate estimate of the number of daily visitors to each genealogy website. This calculation was based on internet traffic at the beginning of 2013.
The table below shows the number of daily visitors to the top 10 genealogy websites. Collectively, these websites get about 113,500 visitors a day. Ancestry.com (the #1 genealogy website) gets just over 1/3 of that total.
We then extended our methodology and analysis to all the websites in our Top 100 List. What we found is that the top 100 most popular genealogy websites in total get on average 245,730 visitors a day.