Wednesday, June 25, 2008

No! Ancestry's New Search Is Worse ...

I just happened to notice The Ancestry Insider's post on Ancestry discontinuing their old search and switching to the new search. At the moment, I personally believe the new search is inferior to the old search. When I was looking through the free newspapers last week, I noticed that new search would not eliminate any newspapers, even if I specified the name of a state in the keyword section. I would still get too many irrelevant matches. Obviously, it was frustrating for me to have to try to sort through everything that the new search brought up, and in the end I had to switch back to the old search. With the old search, it was easier for me to narrow down the number of matches since I could specify the state that I wanted. I could not do that with the new search.

I did try the new search once before the historical newspaper database was available, and again, I was not impressed with the new search. I still had the same problem with the new search as I did when I looked through the newspaper database. Even if I had specified a state for an ancestor, the new search still brought up similar names for other states. It seemed as though it did not matter whether I narrowed down the search; I still got too many irrelevant matches.

I personally believe that if Ancestry were to switch over to the new search today, it would be a mistake. The new search is much worse than the old one, and I think many genealogists would be upset with a search engine that was worse than the old one. Many customers would be dissatisfied with Ancestry, and would feel as though they were getting less for their money. (Ancestry subscriptions are expensive enough already.) Besides, I don't understand why Ancestry needs to change the old search. The old search seems to do a fairly decent job. Unless the new search is improved and made to be better than the old search, there is no point in changing the search. Why fix something that's not broke, and why replace it with something much worse and much inferior to the old one?

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