Ancestry.com recently performed a major update to the site's built-in search engine. If you have been frustrated with the old search method, you might like to join an online web seminar, or "webinar" that will demonstrate the new search on Ancestry.com.
Geared toward intermediate and advanced researchers, the webinar on Wednesday, July 30, at 8:30 pm Eastern Daylight Time will focus on how to use the tools in Ancestry.com’s new search:
- Record Previews
- Image Snapshots
- Refined Searches
- Type-ahead Tools
- Global Searches
- Advanced Searches
- Keyword Searches
Kendall Hulet, Director of Product Management for Ancestry.com, will host this webinar.
Anyone can register to attend the webinar by visiting: http://event.on24.com/r.htm?e=112633&s=1&k=F61A5B2CBEC642037CADDF67687EA541. The webinar is open to everyone; you do not have to be a member of Ancestry.com to register for or attend the webinar.
Below is a description of the new search as written by Ancestry.com:
The new search is designed to help Ancestry members quickly and easily find the people and events they’re looking for. While researching and developing the new search, Ancestry.com developers conducted 28 usability studies, analyzed search practices on several websites, and collaborated with more than 100 members of the genealogy community. These genealogist beta testers offered tremendously helpful feedback that directly impacted many of the features we chose to implement into the new search.
Some of the key features that make it easier to search include:
- Matching person – The new search recognizes when you are searching for records about someone already in your Member Tree on Ancestry.com and will automatically fill in the search fields with that individual’s information. The automatic fill-in saves time both in typing that person’s information and shuffling back and forth the tree and the search form. All automatically added information can be altered or removed from the search criteria.
- Advanced search – The new search’s Advanced Search improves upon the “Exact Matches” in the current search. The current “Exact Matches” allows you to search on exactly the information added to all the search fields. The new search’s Advanced Search allows you to specify which fields should be matched exactly and which should remain more nebulous.
- Site-wide search – The new search allows you to search globally across the site then narrow down to records in various categories and subtopics (i.e., census, military, vitals, immigration) and finally to specific databases. For example, you can narrow down to Births, Marriages, and Deaths category, then you can further limit the search to show only the Births or only the Deaths. From there you can click to see records within a specific database.
- Image snapshots – The new search offers preview of newspaper and book pages that highlight your search terms so you can tell from the search-results screen if a match is relevant (without clicking through to view the entire image and waiting for it to load).
You can learn about and access the new search by clicking the following link: http://search.ancestry.com/search/help/TourNewUI1.aspx. This page offers an overview of the new search features and allows you to test-drive the new search, offer feedback, and toggle between the new search and old search.
Finally, the new search is a change to the search user interface, not the search engine. The interface is what you see while you’re searching, the way the search looks. Making a change to the interface is usually more straight-forward than making a change to the search engine. Changing the search engine is more like turning a ship–it is a big operation that takes a long time. But that doesn’t mean we’re not working on it. In fact, we’ve been toiling away on some good improvements to the search engine that should make searching Ancestry.com easier.
We’re continually making improvements to the new search. We appreciate feedback researchers offer while using the new search.