The World Wide Web

Adventures in Family Tree Research Online — Tips for Doing Genealogy

Your ancestors may be online, waiting for you to find them.   I found mine, sailing to America, settling the west, fighting wars, and having babies — oh did they have babies!

The internet has revolutionized genealogical research for  common folk.   You can find exciting, interesting things.  Here are examples of what may be waiting out there for you, taken from my experience: Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by jimluckett - January 13, 2011 at 12:55 am

Categories: Genealogical Research, The World Wide Web   Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Pancakes Shouldn’t Sign Snow Tires (or, is your new website Googleable)

Let’s say you’ve got a new website or blog and you are all excited about the prospect of strangers finding your pages through ?Google.    How can you have your first tiny success in that endeavor, very early?

Once you’ve done the obvious first two steps of (a)  putting up some good content on your site and (b) registering the URL with Google so that you have invited Googles spider bots to crawl your site, how do you know when you’ve been found?

If you look for your content using reasonable search terms, you probably won’t find it.   If your site is there at all in the search results, it’s probably buried on page 1 zillion at first.     So — and here’s the essence of this little article — create an unreasonable search string that is tailored in quirky ways to exactly what is on your site.    Then you have can the thrill of seeing your new website on page 1 of the Google free search results, just as soon as Google’s magic spider bots have paid their first visit. 

Assuming the information the spiders bring home to the mother ship pleases the Google wizards and they consider your site worthy to index, your site will come up on page 1 if you stack the deck sufficiently to make your site overwhelmingly relevant to the weird search string you enter to perform this test.    And that’s all we’re talking about here:  A way to testwhether you are on Google’s radar screen at all yet, and give yourself a little thrill if you are.

Example:    When this site was new, among our first articles were:   (a)  A pancake recipe, (b) why you shouldn’t buy snow tires and  (c) why you should teach your baby sign language.    Thus,  I entered into Google:   “Pancakes shouldn’t sign snowtires” (without quotes)   and BOOM there was our newborn baby on Page 1 of Google!    

pancakesNaturally, I emailed all my co-authors “QuickReference.Info is arleady on page 1 of Google!”  and it was a great morale booster.  Nevermind that we were still so unimportant in Google calculations that the only way we were going to get on page one was to concoct a scenario like that to boost our relevance score through the roof.    We were on page 1!

Now, we have the hard work (or I should say, great fun) of  building up the quality and quantity of content on our site and getting legitimate links from relevant other websites that will point back to our site.  Your ranking in a given set of search results is a function of relevance (how much does your site talk about the stuff entered in the search window) and importance (how famous does Google estimate your site to be based largely on the quantity and quality of links from other sites to yours).


  • Don’t do reciprocal linking.  That means, when the owners of site XYZ  (that probably has little to do with your content) ask you to post a link to their site in return for them posting a link to yours, say no.    Google is on to that and it (continued next page)

1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by jimluckett - January 6, 2011 at 5:40 pm

Categories: The World Wide Web   Tags: , , , , , ,