Friday, September 9, 2011

“Geneology”or “Genealogy”??

According to Wikipedia, the term genealogy is based on the Greek terms “genea” (generation) and “logos” (knowledge). Therefore, it would appear that we have the Greeks to thank for the “a” before the “l” in genealogy. My wife has suggested that for most other words with this suffix the spelling is “ology”. Are you aware of other terms that do not follow the “ology” norm?

Why do I care? It is because of the error in the spine title of the first printing my recent book Crash Course in Genealogy. This issue was revived this week when I received books from the second printing with the spine title corrected.


Note that the spine title at the bottom of the above picture is different from the spine title just above it. Spine titles are bigger deals for libraries that they are for the average book reader.

It was ironic that this spelling error was corrected in the same week I reviewed the latest ratings of traffic to genealogy websites. Dick Eastman pointed his readers to a summary done by blogger John Reid who is the author of Anglo-Celtic Connections. Those rankings are interesting in their own right. However, they only make sense if you realize that the numbers after each site represent its rank among all databases on the web---not just genealogy sites.

I was interested why FamilySearch seems to be falling in the rankings so I went to Alexa.com which originates these web traffic reports. I was not surprised to find that "genealogy" was the second most frequent search term for those searching for FamilySearch. However, I was surprised that "geneology" was the fifth most common search term.


High Impact Search Queries for Familysearch.org
QueryImpact
1family searchHigh
2genealogyHigh
3family treeHigh
4family historyMedium
5geneologyMedium
6familysearch.orgMedium
7familysearchMedium

A little further digging disclosed that "geneology" was a frequent search term on other genealogy sites. Look carefully at the queries ranked 1, 4, 5 & 6 below:

High Impact Search Queries for Genealogy.com

QueryImpact
1genealogyHigh
2family tree makerHigh
3family treeHigh
4geneology.comMedium
5geneologyMedium
6genealogy.comMedium
7social security death indexMedium

Maybe the original spine title of my book was not so far off the norm after all.

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