Friday, January 15, 2010

Genealogy Site Traffic Trends - and

Being a "numbers guy," I am interested in how genealogy information providers stack up against each other, and what the trends are over a period of time. I last looked at genealogy website traffic in January 2009 in a series of posts.

For this series, I am using the Quantcast statistics because they are easily understandable, and free. There are other websites that measure traffic, and their traffic statistics may be different from Quantcast. To simplify things, I will show only the number of Visits - not Persons, Page Views or other statistics available from Quantcast.

The first of today's websites is the "social network" site owned by There are no genealogy databases at this site, only a family tree site that does not permit GEDCOM uploads at this time. In early December, the We're Related application on Facebook, a family tree site without GEDCOM uploads, was changed so that users went directly to claimed to have millions of hits each month on We're Related. Here is the measured traffic, both US and worldwide, for the period 01/05/2009 to 01/02/2010:

As you can see, started being measured in September 2009. The average measured traffic over the past five months, for People, is 7.1 million US, and 10.2 million globally. The daily US Visits averaged about 150,000 between October and November, but averaged 500,000 in December. Usually, the People value is significantly less than the number of Visitors during a month, since many people visit more than once. That's not the case for - for the US the total number of Visits is about 4.5 million per month, while the number of People is 7.1 million. I don't know why this happens, maybe a person can explain it.

The second chart for is the sub-domain traffic:

All of the sub-domains listed are less than 1%. The main domain isn't listed like for other websites. Where is all of the traffic coming from?

The charts above say that the Network has seven properties, and that over the last five months those properties have averaged 10.1 million US People and 14.6 million Global People each month. Those numbers are significantly higher than The information for the network says that 74% of the People have come directly to the web sites, and 38% have come from Syndicators (which I think means sites like Facebook). I don't know why those numbers don't add up to 100%!

One of the seven properties is, which is a genealogy subscription database website. Here is the measured traffic chart for WorldVitalRecords over the past three years:

The average monthly US People for WorldVitalRecords is 123,800, and the average monthly Global People is 157,400, over the past five months. The average number of daily Visits are about 15,000 before August 2009 and about 10,000 after the large August spike. The large spike in traffic in August reflects the free access to WorldVitalRecords just before the NGS Conference. Average daily Visits before 2009 are somewhat higher - about 24,000 in 2008.

The WorldVitalRecords sub-domain statistics are in this chart:

There are four pages of the sub-domains in alphabetical order. Only the Blog sub-domain is over 1%. Presumably, most of the traffic goes directly to the web site, which is no surprise.

I am really confused by the traffic statistics. On the one hand, they look really good - ranked 140 in the US for the period measured - better than But where are those People going and what are they doing? Perhaps checking their family tree?

The screens above say that there are seven sites in the Network - I can think of:

* (family tree without GEDCOM upload capability),
* (genealogy databases),
* (family tree with GEDCOM upload, but not adding new content),
* (available, but in beta),
* (not formally launched yet, available only through Facebook application)
* (social networking discussion, blog, chat and group platform)

What's the seventh? I'm guessing it is the We're Related application, but that is no longer available on Facebook and other social networks. 'Tis a mystery! Any ideas, anyone?