Thursday, February 02, 2006

Answering a common question

by Cyndi Howell of
Cyndi's List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet

Hello all
A question is one I'm asked often is
how to find surnames on my site,
so I thought I should answerit here for everyone on the mailing list.
In fact, I have several parts to this answer.

1. Personal Home Pages
Personal Home Pages are linked by the Title shown on the web site in the title bar at the top of the browser window. That is the"official" title tag in HTML, so it is what is used by Favorites, Bookmarks, and search engine indexing software. Therefore, it is also what I use.
If a site is called "Betty Sue's Genealogy" you will find it linked under Personal Home Pages B on Cyndi's List. If it is clear what the major surnames are on that site I will use them as the description for that site--usually 12 to 20, and place names if easy to find.

2. Surnames
Any web sites that are dedicated to one specific surname are linked under the Surnames, Family Associations & Family Newsletters category on Cyndi's List. These would also include sites such as "The Descendants of John Snigglefritz" because the site focuses on descent from one surname.

3. Search Engines
On each page of my web site you will find a search box at the top right. Enter a keyword (surname, place name, etc.) and hit Enter.

You will get a page of search results from the FreeFind searchengine. The set of "Search sponsors" at the top are paid-for ads, not halfway down the page under "Cyndi\'s List Search Results."

I also have 3 other search engines on my site. All four search boxes are here:
They include FreeFind (automatically updated weekly), G
oogle (updated whenever Google visits my site),
Atomz (updated frequently),
andPico Search (updated when we remember to tell it to do so).

Each of those search engines delivers different results based on how they work. Give them all a try to see what works well for you. Ofcourse, the search engines only work based on the text they find on my site.

**If** Betty Sue doesn't supply any of her surnames in her request to me or if her surnames are not easily found on her website,
I don't then have any surnames to use in the description with the link.
In that case, the search engine won't help you.

In fact, all search engines have that limitation -- if the sites don't include the text, the search engine can't serve up that information for you in your search results.

ll -- I hope that helps answer your questions.

Successful surfing,

Cyndi Howells
Cyndi's List
FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions about Cyndi\'s List
Cyndi's List - FAQ - How Personal Home Pages are Indexed
many more FAQ


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