A radio station I listen to in the car does a contest where you have to guess something like “The average person doesn’t do this on Mondays until 11:16 a.m.” (The answer was “smile.” Depressing.)
So my challenge to you is “Two percent of Ancestry.com users have this in common.”
Can you guess what it is?
They use the Old Search. Remember Old Search?
It’s on its way out. Ancestry.com sent the Old Search users a letter (read it on Dick Eastman’s blog) on Wednesday announcing that Old Search would be discontinued as a separate search experience within the next six months.
The letter asks for the users’ input into improvements that will bring together the Old and New search experiences into one search. It states that “Maintaining two systems limits the resources we can use to make improvements and increases the complexity of every improvement we try to make.”
The Advanced Old Search looks like this:
For comparison, here’s the Advanced New Search:
It’s easy to see why Old Search hung around so long: Those 2 percent who use it are extremely loyal to it, and vocal on Facebook (here’s one example) and the blogosphere (see the comments on Dick’s post).
Many of the Team Old Search comments I’ve seen say it’s more accurate and finds specific records faster, with better-organized and fewer irrelevant results, and that more people would use it if it were more visible on the site (and if Old Search users weren’t randomly rerouted back to New Search).
As for me, I haven’t used Old Search in a long time. My usual technique is to use the Card Catalog to find the specific database I want to search, then add a place (filtered to the exact place or to a county plus surrounding counties) and/or an exact year of a life event (such as birth or residence) with a range of plus/minus several years.
Are you on Team Old Search or Team New Search? What’s your take on this announcement?