I am quite impressed with some major and recent improvements in Ancestry.com’s products and services marketing. Yes, that’s right, I said “the ugly word–marketing, ” as inferred by those who haven’t been involved in it or have been the victims of marketing done poorly. Yet, I’m here to give credit to Ancestry where credit is due because they are effectively using tools and techniques to reach me with the kinds of information and articles that I’m interested in while not being intrusive about it. I see it as a “take it or leave it opportunity” for me to learn more about a topic in which I am interested.
For example, one of the probably lesser known features on Ancestry’s site, is its blog page that I have occasionally visited, enjoyed, and all too often have forgotten about in the midst of all life’s goings on. Yet, I happened upon an ad about this blog today under CNN.com’s “Paid Content” when I opened their breaking news page. The image and headline that drew me in are on the left, here.
Now, I’m already a long time subscriber to Ancestry.com’s suite of online genealogical tools and features, so it costs me nothing more to follow down their marketing path and enjoy the extra wares provided. And, when I find something that I like, I immediately think about others like me who also might be interested. Needless to say, I share my finds regularly either in my blogs or on Facebook, or the like, as I am today. While I am not trying to be necessarily an unpaid/unsolicited advertisement for Ancestry.com, I believe in the power of word-of-mouth coming from peers who like me like what they see or read and are all into sharing. Similarly, I appreciate others reaching out to me with items that they think I’ll like just because they know a bit about me and my likes. Bottom line, if you are already an Ancestry.com subscriber these blogs and their interactive information are free. If not, multiple times within the article appear clickable online banner ads like the one on the left of this text which takes you to Ancestry.com’s subscription page where you can see all your subscription options. Now, let’s look more closely at the interactive and customized information that you can glean (if you choose) from today’s blog:
Do You Come From Royal Blood? Your Last Name May Tell You. – Ancestry Blog
Researchers at the University of California, Davis, and the London School of Economics conducted the study, which they published in the journal “Human Nature.” . . .
Using Surnames to Follow the Wealthy
The researchers based their study on families with unique last names. Those unique last names made it possible to trace the families through genealogical and other public records. In England, those aristocratic names included Atthill, Bunduck, Balfour, Bramston, Cheslyn, and Conyngham.
Enter your last name to learn its meaning and origin.
Enter your last name to learn its meaning and origin.
The social scientists looked for those and other unique, upper-class surnames among students who attended Oxford and Cambridge universities between 1170 and 2012, rich property owners between 1236 and 1299, as well as probate records since 1858 — which are available on Ancestry.com.
So I entered my maiden name “Bolling,” using the older European version of it with the double “ll’s” instead of a single “l,” as we spell it today. Voila! Here’s what I got:
I was amazed at all the readily available and thoroughly interactive information at my fingertips. Above, in the upper left top section, you can navigate an interactive geographic timeline distribution of people with the surname “Bolling” who lived in England, Wales, and the United States from 1840 to 1920. In the upper right of this section, you can browse all the census and voter lists for Bollings. It gives you the option to filter results and views by record or collection by years and/or collections by Country, or individual records.
In the lower section of the page, below, you have access to five drop down windows with even more detailed information about origin, immigration, life expectancies, occupations, and Civil War Service Records–all from various collections available through your Ancestry.com subscription.
And, more . . .
At the end of this very information-packed and fully interactive blog appeared the following series of images and headlines under the heading “More On Ancestry:” Similarly, they are packed with more fully interactive information from various Ancestry.com collections.
While I have chosen to focus this blog on Ancestry.coms paid content that I happened upon when browsing CNN.com’s site, I would suggest that all Ancestry.com subscribers visit/revisit Ancestry’s page to view firsthand the wealth of information and resources that can help make your family history journey more interesting, enjoyable, and rewarding. And, remember, to check out Ancestry’s products and services in the right-hand column of your home page. For example, video tutorials and short courses at Ancestry Academy, or learn more about AncestryDNA, their newest data collections, etc.
And a Big “Also Note”.
In the upper right hand corner of the “More From Ancestry” image, above, you see “by Taboola.” Are you wondering what this is or means? Well, here lies the secret to how Ancestry and other businesses are improving their content distribution and driving targeted traffic from their sites to us. Taboola is one of the world’s leading content distribution companies that drives information to sites that we visit because they thought we would like it based on our interests and/or visits to previous websites (remember all those warnings about ‘cookies’). The delivered content is paid for by the company whose ad we clicked on–in this instance, Ancestry.com. So, all these years of people talking about those horrid cookie files that invade our computer experiences–finally, I got a cookie that I enjoyed!