Genealogy Limitations on Google Searches
In our article How to Use Google Advanced Search for Genealogy we discussed the advantages of using the Google Advanced Search function. Here is another reason: Google limits results from standard searches to a maximum of two listings per website per Google page. This hidden limit is a significant issue that every genealogist needs to know and understand.
Say you are looking for an ancestor and you suspect that most of the records are on (say) the FamilySearch website, if you do a standard search then a maximum of two listings from FamilySearch per Google search result page will show up. This subtle issue can really trip up a genealogist looking for old records because chances are the records you are interested in are clustered on just one or two sites.
If you are confused by what we mean by all this, then try the following simple exercise to demonstrate the problem:
• Do a Google search for “GenealogyInTime”.
• Notice the first two listings are for GenealogyInTime™ magazine. This is what you would expect because this is a very specific search.
• Now notice that the rest of the listings on the page are from other websites talking about GenealogyInTime or other listings that use the words ‘genealogy’ and ‘time’.