Last week we said a fond farewell to the “Old Search” functionality on the site. Over the years, we have been maintaining two separate search experiences – “Old Search” and “Primary Search.”
With offering two search experiences, it has limited the resources we could use to make improvements, and also increased the complexity of every improvement we tried to make on the site.
Specifically, the technology powering the “Old Search” functionality is fragile, as much of it is no longer supported, and it can no longer scale to meet the needs of the growing use of Ancestry across mobile devices, operating systems and browsers.
So we’ve consolidated the two systems in order to address customer requests faster and allow us to direct more investment into other areas like adding more record collections and correcting transcriptions on existing collections. Additionally, this consolidated search brings forward and improves the best features of both search experiences.
Many of the features enjoyed in the “Old Search” functionality are now available in the primary search experience, such as searching exact, searching only historical records and more. This Knowledge Base article explains how to get at these features in the primary experience.
Other features included in the consolidated search experience now include:
- A category + exact mode to make it quicker to do exact searches and see results by category. Learn more about this feature in this Knowledge Base article
- Tightening up of the spacing in the category view to make it easier to see more of the results
- A research summary view for searches started from a person in your tree to show you quickly which records you have already attached to your person
- Smart filtering to which let you hide results from collections where you’ve already found an ancestor’s record
- Sliding controls to quickly broaden or narrow your search results
That’s just the beginning. We will be continuing to improve our search over this year and have improvements planned in our location data, relevancy, results filtering and more.
We understand some of you may not agree with the decision, but we hope you will come to find as much use as you did from the familiarity of “Old Search” in our consolidated search experience as we continue to improve and invest in it and our data.
About Katharine Nester
Katharine Nester is the Director, Product Management at Ancestry.com
[...] For a number of years we’ve been able to search Ancestry.com with “Old Search,” as well as the default search known as “Primary Search.” Most of us haven’t used “Old Search” for years, so we won’t miss it, but there are those who, being comfortable with it, still used the “Old Search” right up until now. The following is from the Ancestry blog. See the blog for the full article. [...]
[...] decision to turn off ‘Old Search.’ And judging by the comments to this entry (A Fond Farewell to ‘Old Search’), I strongly suspect that I am not [...]