Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Genealogy Site Traffic Trends - Ancestry.com

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 going to use 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 Page Views or other statistics available from Quantcast.

The first website for this analysis is www.Ancestry.com. Here is the daily traffic estimate for the period 12/06/2008 to 11/30/09:

The average monthly number of U.S. People visiting Ancestry.com over the past five months was 5.5 million people. The graph above shows an average number of Daily U.S. Visits to be about 1.9 million over the last five months. Note that this data does not include persons visiting from other countries.

Quantcast has statistics for about three years - here is the chart for Ancestry.com since 02/05/2007:

The average number of Daily U.S. Visits was about 1.0 million for 2007, about 1.5 million after April 2008, and 1.9 million for 2009. We recall that Ancestry.com brought Rootsweb.com into the Ancestry.com domain in April 2008, which accounts for the increase in April 2008. What happened in January 2009 to cause the significant jump in Ancestry.com traffic?

One of the more interesting information that Quantcast provides is the traffic to specific Sub-domains. For Ancestry.com, the list is more than two screens (two screens shown below):

The top sub-domains here are:

There are two sub-domains for the WorldConnect database on Rootsweb.com - the http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com has 7.0% and the http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com has 3.2%, or about 10% of the total Ancestry.com traffic. The Ancestry World Tree sub-domain on Ancestry.com has only 1.7% of the Visits.

I was amazed that about 44% of all visits to the Ancestry.com domain were for the FREE Rootsweb sub-domains. While the Message Boards are now in the Ancestry.com domain, they used to be in the Rootsweb.com domain, so over 50% of the Ancestry.com visits are to sub-domains that used to be in the Rootsweb.com domain.

The January 2009 posts for The Generations Network/Ancestry.com were here and here.

I will try to post one of these summaries each day for another company, along with any pithy analysis I can come up with.


Joan Miller (Luxegen) said...

I like stats. Thanks for this Randy!

geneabloggers said...

Very good Randy

And it should surprise no one that so much of the hits are for free resources - remember there are a large part of genealogy newbies who think everything is free on The Net.

Take a look at WolframAlpha, the computational search engine, which uses Alexa: http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=ancestry.com

And you can also do neat comparisons such as "ancestry.com vs footnote.com"