Ancestry.com Acquires Archives.com in a move that sure surprised me today.
If my calculations are right Archives.com lasted a little more than two years as a separate company before Ancestry.com bought them. That's less than the three-plus years Footnote.com lasted before Ancestry.com bought it. I'm starting to wonder how many of these companies really plan to be around for a while and how many just want to get big enough so Ancestry offers to buy them.
I wouldn't really mind Ancestry owning so many genealogical resources if they invested some of their millions into making the research experience better. A better user experience would make me stay with Ancestry happily instead of looking for an alternative and hoping that alternative becomes a true rival. To me, better does not mean more hits that do not match my search criteria. It doesn't have anything to do with little shaking leaves because I would never put my family tree on a commercial site. It means honoring the search criteria I specify. It means giving me the option to specify reasonable wildcards and extensions of the exact names, dates, and places I enter and HONORING those. I am much happier getting a few pertinent hits than 10,000 that barely come close to what I asked for.
Make the search experience better. Show me the same records every time I enter the same search criteria.
Then I will tell people how much I love the company instead of telling them about a love-hate relationship. While I am glad Ancestry has made the improvements they have made over the last few years, this is an area still needing more work. How about building up the technical departments and offer a better product customers can't do without?
© 2012, Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, All Rights Reserved