Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Monday, November 17, 2014

How popular are the large online genealogy websites?

There are several ways to measure website popularity but the most common is the one used by the free version of; traffic ranking. On 16 November 2014 here was the ranking of some of the more popular genealogy websites (lower is higher):
Several of these websites have branch websites in other countries such as etc. that are separately ranked so it is difficult to ascertain the actual amount of traffic for the entire entity.

As a side note, ranking is meaningless if the website does not have the records of your ancestors you are searching for.

It is obvious, even from this very limited list, that the ranking will begin to drop off rapidly if I were to add any more websites (i.e. the numbers will get larger). It is hard to imagine the number of visitors to a website in the top 1000 so there is a significant difference between and in the amount of traffic. Some time ago, GenealogyInTime Magazine listed the top 100 and top 10 genealogy websites. The top 10 genealogy websites were listed by the number of daily visitors. It is interesting that even though this list was compiled during 2014, one of the websites,, has already been discontinued by, the owner of the website. As usual, the Web continues is volatility. It should also be noted that was purchased by in September of 2013.

Because of the common ownership of many of the larger websites, such as the fact that now owns (see "MyHeritage Acquires and Raises $25m in New Funding Round" in November, 2012), it is really quite impossible to get an accurate idea of the relative size or ranking of these online entities. Another example of the difficulty in ascertaining an accurate ranking is the fact that, the owner of, is ranked globaly at 54,840 and 13,578 in the U.S. This is likely due to the fact that is a subscription website sold to libraries.

So, if I were to combine the owned entities above, the list would be much shorter. Here are the entities with the same or common ownership:

This analysis can get even more complicated when you take into account the various agreements between the entities. For example, records from are showing up on and Do record sharing arrangements affect ranking? Who knows?

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