International search engines for genealogy

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World Vital Records most popular international search page is our German Genealogy Search page. According to Overture, there were 1045 searches on the Yahoo Network last month for “german genealogy” and 292 for “germany genealogy.”

After Germany, our most popular international search engines are England, Ireland, Australia, Italy, France, Austria, Scotland, Wales, Hungary, Sweden, China, Slovakia and Brazil. Interestingly enough, I’ve noticed Slovakia has recently been one of the leading sources of international traffic to my personal blog site, paulallen.net.

As we begin to enable our site visitors to share content with each other and to connect with other researchers, the popularity of our international search engine pages will grow.

We also invite libaries, archives, publishers, website owners and authors worldwide to contact us if they would like us to index their content and make it available to our growing audience of worldwide genealogists. We pay higher-than-average royalties to our content partners, as well as to our online affiliates.

We are doing all we can to keep our overhead costs low so that more people can afford to access online family history resources than ever before. With Google Book Search scanning millions of public domain volumes and with FamilySearch‘s digitization of the famed Granite Mountain Vault in the next five years, so much family history content will be free. There will be valuable collections of exclusive, proprietary content that people will pay for, but many more will be able to enjoy the family history hobby with just an internet connection.

We are currently designing a second web site and a business model that is designed to prosper in a world where much (if not all) genealogy data is free. That is a daunting task for those of us who launched the first online genealogy subscription site (Ancestry.com in April 1997) and then watched as hundreds of millions of dollars of subscription revenue were generated over the next ten years.

Our World Vital Records site will be subscription based and our forthcoming site (soon to be publicly announced–the domain name starts with FAMILY) will be free and supported by advertising and other revenue streams.

We appreciate every new customer who purchases a subscription on World Vital Records — I wish I could call and thank every one of you — because it gives us the resources we need to continue to develop that site, with its international databases, and to launch this new site which we hope will provide a value service to millions of family historians.

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3 Responses

  1. Annette Larsen

    Hi Paul,

    Our family organization is looking for a hosting website to post histories, diaries, pictures, etc. for ancestors who have died.

    We are not looking for royalties, but the flexibility for family members to add and share their digitized information.

    We are looking for free subscription fee or significantly reduced subscription fee for family members who submit information.

    We are also looking for a website where the histories, diaries, pictures can be tied to a family history gedcom file.

    I know what your competitors offer, but their services are too limited to our family needs.

    Currently we have 5 GB of scanned history information with approximately 5 GB of additional information to be scanned.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Best wishes,

    Annette Larsen

  2. Aaron


    I’m intrigued by the second website and business model you mentioned. I’ve been wondering myself (as a PhD student, not necessarily as an entrepreneur) how you establish a business model in which the data your customer wants is free. I get the feeling, you’re not just talking about advertising revenue here. I’m not asking for you to divulge your business plan on your blog, but if you have any books or references that have been helpful to you in this endeavor, could you put them here?


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