As he did last year, Kory Meyerink compiled and then spoke at the BYU Conference on Computerized Family History and Genealogy a couple weeks ago on what he has ascertained to to be the 50 most popular genealogy websites. He also worked up the 25 most popular genealogy blogs. GenealogyBlog was rated #23. That’s pretty exciting for me, as I was gone from the web entirely for about 5 months. I’m pleased to have made the list. The following news release came out today:

ProGenealogists, Inc., released today the official listing of the 50 Most Popular Genealogy Websites, as determined by a detailed study 25popblogs-2009conducted by Kory Meyerink. Based on a comparative analysis of website traffic from web analytics companies, including Alexa.com and Quantcast.com, this is the only study that identifies every candidate website and accounts for their popularity as tested by a range of traffic monitoring companies.

Salt Lake City, Utah (PRWEB) April 5, 2009 — ProGenealogists, Inc., announced today that it has identified 50 of the most popular genealogy websites, creating an important and useful tool for everyone interested in their family and heritage. Kory Meyerink, Vice-President at ProGenealogists, explained that today’s online genealogists face thousands of websites and millions of web pages that might contain information about their ancestors. “They can’t search them all, so we wanted to help by creating a list of the most visited sites, understanding that if thousands of other family researchers found a site to be useful, all researchers should know about such sites and check them out,” said Meyerink.

The study was designed in a manner similar to the popular “places rated” lists that appear regularly in the media. By ranking the websites on different criteria, and then averaging those rankings, a consensus list of the most popular sites emerges. In addition to popular and well-known Alexa.com, the other companies, whose rankings are all based on different criteria, used in this study were Compete.com, Quantcast.com and Ranking.com.

The presence of five data-rich sites among the first seven is expected. The increase in popularity of social networking sites like Geni.com and MyHeritage.com makes sense, too, because it reflects current Internet trends. The challenge was not in developing a ranking system, but in coming up with the list of genealogy websites in the first place. Most such lists are “personal preferences” and are incomplete. The major genealogy portals, such as Cyndi’s List and Linkpendium are links to individual web pages, not to entire websites. Studying various link lists as well as the “similar” websites as referenced on the traffic measuring companies, Meyerink developed a list of more than 300 websites specifically oriented to family history enthusiasts. Government and other websites whose primary users include people other than genealogists are not part of the ranking. “It would be like comparing cars and boats,” claimed Meyerink, “they have a similar function, but serve different audiences.”

“The list reveals some interesting aspects of online genealogy,” said Natalie Cottrill, President and CEO of ProGenealogists. “The presence of five data-rich sites among the first seven is expected. The increase in popularity of social networking sites like Geni.com and MyHeritage.com makes sense, too, because it reflects current Internet trends.” One of the largest data sites, Ancestry.com, is a subscription based site and is currently number one. With nine subscription sites in the top 50, it’s clear that people are willing to invest in their heritage. Several special focus sites are popular, including several devoted to cemetery and census information. To see the complete list of 2009′s 50 most popular genealogy sites, go to http://www.progenealogists.com/top50genealogy2009.htm.

Because the popularity of genealogy blog websites is not accurately measured by traffic, ProGenealogists has also released a list of twenty-five of the most popular genealogy blogs. Meyerink explained that “many people read blog entries through RSS feeds and other means and seldom actually visit the blog’s website. Therefore, we used Technorati’s system of ranking blogs to identify the most popular genealogy blogs.” For the list of top genealogy blogs, see http://www.progenealogists.com/top25blogs2009.htm.

ABOUT PROGENEALOGISTS, INC. – ProGenealogists, Inc. is a consortium of professional genealogists who specialize in genealogical, forensic, and family history research. The firm, in business for over 10 years, services thousands of professional, government, media, and individual clients worldwide. ProGenealogists, Inc. assists clients in several countries using its network of over 725 U.S. and International agents. In addition to conducting excellent research for families throughout the world, they’ve published numerous articles and research tools on their award winning website, www.progenealogists.com, including their Genealogy Sleuth page with its hundreds of links to data-rich web pages, including vital records sites for all 50 U.S. states, at http://www.progenealogists.com/genealogysleuthb.htm.