11 June 2013

Genealogy falling, Ancestry rising

About 7 months ago, genealogy blogger James Tanner wrote about Google search trends showing a possible decline in the popularity of genealogy.

Viewing the comments, some people speculated that perhaps people were getting better at doing Google searches by searching directly for people and places in their family history rather than just typing the word "genealogy" into Google. I speculate that is likely true; I also suspect people are using more specialized searches on sites such as Ancestry.com rather than just using Google.*

However, another idea occurred to me today, and that is that perhaps the word genealogy itself is falling out of favor for another word: ancestry. I tested that theory on the Google Trends page, at it appears to be true in looking over the past four years:

In fact, sometime in late 2010, the two lines crossed and ancestry became the more popular search term.  This holds true whether looking worldwide or at particular countries. Granted, this isn't definitive proof of the change, nor what may be driving it, but it's encouraging to see that ancestry is alive and kicking.


* Some people are even using specialized Google search tools like my AncestorSearch :)