18 September 2012

Million Short -- is this a good search engine for genealogists and family historians?




Though there is a genealogical search engine out there, Mocavo, much of the information about our ancestors is still found the old-fashioned way, by “Google’ing!”

For a variety of reasons, records and information to help our family history research might not be found in Mocavo and so we then pursue them in the “big world” of the internet.

There is now a search engine, million short, where you can “narrow” the websites used in a search to the less popular ones.  Instead of researching the “top sites” one removes those and searched in what’s left.  Let’s be honest, many of our ancestors (and ourselves) end up in the more obscure end of what is on the internet and not in the most popular places!

You can remove the top 100, 1K, 10K, 100K or 1 million sites from the results for any search.

I played around with “Simon Turner” and “Wake County.”  I first removed the top 1K sites and got quite a list.  I then removed the top 10K sites (it is easy to use the links at the top of the results page to toggle between search fidelity options) and lost www.findagrave.com. Then I also went to removing the top 100k sites (and on the front end there wasn’t much of a change) and then finally 1 million sites ... the series of images below show the top 6 items listed for each of the listed searches.

million short -- removed top 1K sites
million short -- removed top 10K sites
million short -- removed top 100K sites
million short -- removed top  1million sites
It's clear that at every level of peeling the onion back, more neat items "rise to the top" though of course, other relevant items are lost ...

What do you think?  Did searching at the bottom of the www help your family research? Is this a good search engine for genealogists?



Editor’s Note: A nice features is that on the right side of the page, there is a list of those results removed and you can then manually enter back in results that you want retained, e.g., Ancestry.com, findagrave.com, etc






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