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Announcing Web Search

Replies: 31

Re: Announcing Web Search

Posted: 10 Jun 2011 4:13PM GMT
Classification: Query
Thanks for the post and questions.

You asked why you are not finding more matches from websites in your search and why we have not launched them faster. I can probably best answer that by giving you some insight into the process and what we are working on.

The first thing we wanted to do with this is to spend time listening to our users and the people who publish genealogy websites. We started that process last years and then launched the alpha web search in our Ancestry.com Labs area. That gave us a starting point where people could look at it, kick the tires, and see what we were working on.

We got a lot of feedback and spent a lot of time to improve the experience based on what we heard. When we felt like we had captured an experience that met the key points and worked well in the core Ancestry.com experience, we went out with it. All along the way, we continued to talk to people who could give us feedback. We continue to make minor tweaks in the experience but feel it is very solid.

The other key thing we are working on is creating a process that has very high quality. If we were just returning text on a page, it would be much easier. However, we are trying to be able to actually associate the names, dates, places, and relationships so that people can be sure that they are finding relevant information about the person they are searching for. If you have tried searching for "John Smith" on most web search engines, you know how hard it can be to find the right John Smith.

We decided it was better to launch small and start out slow for two reasons. (1) So people had another chance to look it over and give us feedback on what they did and didn't like. (2) We wanted to ensure that the search quality was as high as possible. To do all of this, we are working on a lot of complex code and systems to ensure we do this well.

We are continuing to work on the systems that search and parse the information to ensure high quality search experience. As we index more sites, we continue to find more ways to improve our tools. Because of the attention to trying to do this right and to build the tools as we go, we wont' grow as quickly right now but, as our tools improve, you should see the pace of indexing continue to increase.

There were a lot of comments in your post. I am not in a position where I can authoritatively address your questions on FTM but I have forwarded this on to the product manager for that product.

I hope this answers your primary question about the speed of launching new indexes.

Thanks,
Brian Edwards
SubjectAuthorDate Posted
jaws1964 22 May 2011 5:51PM GMT 
jaws1964 22 May 2011 6:04PM GMT 
Brian Edwards 23 May 2011 5:22PM GMT 
jaws64 25 May 2011 12:03PM GMT 
Brian Edwards 27 May 2011 3:34PM GMT 
jaws1964 5 Aug 2011 6:53PM GMT 
WClayton43 10 Jun 2011 7:34PM GMT 
Brian Edwards 10 Jun 2011 10:13PM GMT 
JoMac53 16 Jun 2011 11:18AM GMT 
stonechat 18 Jun 2011 1:20PM GMT 
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