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Welcome to the Content Publishers' Feedback forum

Replies: 92

Welcome to the Content Publishers' Feedback forum

Posted: 1287442099000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1288132868000
Welcome Content Publishers and Website Owners!

We want to get your feedback and be able to answer your questions about the web search functionality that is currently being tested in Ancestry Labs.

Let me first explain that the current version found at is a test to explore two different ideas.

(1) Can we help pull together records and family trees so that users can find aggregated information on people, instead of just finding one record at a time?
(2) Can we crawl the web for genealogically important information and help Ancestry users locate new websites and sources of information they may not otherwise find?

This message board is set up to discuss the second idea - finding genealogy information from the web.


Correctly indexing genealogically relevant information found on the web is a difficult task. If we can get it right, we think it has great potential to be a win for Ancestry users and for website owners and publishers of this content.
• Users on Ancestry will be able to find new information about their ancestors and discover great websites in the process.
• The people who create these websites and publish content should get more traffic and users to their sites.


We want to be transparent in how we do this:

• We will build an index of essential information in the record (e.g. name, date, and place) and a link to the website, and make this information available through our search tools.
• We will always strive to follow web industry standards for website crawling permissions. For example, some websites have a robots.txt file that instructs search engines (like Google) to not crawl the site, or to only crawl certain areas. We are currently using a third-party crawling tool called Mozenda.
• We will put in place processes to remove the content if the website/content owner requests it, and will clearly publish how to contact our team to do this. (Listed below and also here:
• We may allow our users to save a reference to the record to their family trees, but whenever this information is later presented, we intend to give proper attribution, with a clear reference or link to the site from which the index data came.


Right now, we are in an early test phase of this concept and want to get your thoughts and feedback on the idea and implementation.

If we haven’t indexed your site yet and you would like to make sure we do, please send us an email at If we have indexed your site and you want to remove your content from the search, please email us at the same email address.

For general questions or discussion, please feel free to reply to this post. We are happy to answer questions and learn from your feedback.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Brian Edwards Product Management
SubjectAuthorDate Posted
Brian Edwards 1287442099000 
PatRichleyEri... 1287505455000 
AGHatchett3rd 1287536869000 
M. Diane Roge... 1287686687000 
Brian Edwards 1287687638000 
rogerkiwi 1287714294000 
rogerkiwi 1287714450000 
rogerkiwi 1287714571000 
M. Diane Roge... 1287754118000 
Brian Edwards 1287760597000 
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