Hi, my name is Kendall Hulet, and I’m the product manager responsible for Ancestry’ s search functionality. As this is my inaugural blog post, I want to introduce myself a bit. I’ve been with Ancestry for over 4 years, managing mainly search and content projects. Although I had prior experience with search technology, I was a rookie to genealogy when I arrived at Ancestry, but I’ve learned a lot and really gained a passion for family history since first joining the company.
I’ve also really enjoyed getting to know members of the genealogical community, whether through NGS, FGS, other conventions and workshops, or simply online through various blogs and email exchanges. One thing I’ve learned along the way is that tapping into the community for guidance and feedback will only make our products better and help us meet your needs more effectively. I’m always open to feedback and want to use your ideas to make the search system more effective.
I realize that we have a lot of things about our search functionality that we can improve (and trust me, we’re working on making it better every day) – that said, we’ve come a long way. Ancestry’s search system has quickly become one of the largest search engines on the Internet.
Our search technology sifts through billions of genealogical records to bring you matches. If we were to print the text from those records out on paper, it would fill over 500 million pages printed on both sides – a stack of paper that would reach over 20 miles high in the air – that’s over 84 Empire State Buildings stacked on top of each other! You wouldn’t believe how much electricity it takes just to keep that system of thousands of computers running.
Just in case you missed it, my colleague, Suzanne Russo Adams (AG), recently held a webinar entitled “Search Like the Pros” that I think is very helpful when it comes to understanding the ins and outs of searching Ancestry. Be sure to check it out: Search Like the Pros webinar
We’ve got some exciting things coming up on the search front that I’m itching to tell you more about, so stay tuned!