Ancestry.com warned users that they would be eliminating the Old Search Engine at year's end. Meantime New Search was online and users were encouraged to use it, get used to it and be ready for Old Search to disappear.
Last Monday Old Search was removed from the website. The predictable happened. The same genealogists who moan and groan every time any website makes changes (Facebook comes to mind...) were once more front and center. Complaints ("New Search sucks!" "I hate New Search") and threats ("I'll unsubscribe if they don't bring Old Search back!") poured onto Facebook and other Social Media.
But let's look at the facts. According to Ancestry.com only 3% of their users were still sticking to Old Search when both options were available. Also, no matter how much a vocal minority claimed that Old Search was better, it wasn't. New Search is more powerful and can do so much more than Old Search.
Yes it is a new tool. There is a learning curve. It doesn't work the same way as Old Search. But we all had over a year to learn how to make the best use of it to deliver the results we are looking for. And there are several excellent tips and videos on using New Search that are available to help the transition.
So why are some genealogists refusing to give it a try? I believe it is because deep down we don't like change. And the older we get the less we like it! One of my Facebook friends said he was cancelling his subscription to Ancestry because using New Search was frustrating. I bet it was equally frustrating when he learned to do long division or ride a bike or swim or drive a car. But I also bet he persevered and learned how to do it.
And for those who are threatening to unsubscribe or who have already done so in protest, that's what my mother always called "Biting off your nose to spite your face". Yes there are many wonderful genealogy websites out there. And yes, FamilySearch has so many databases you could spend weeks going through them. But Ancestry has many databases that are not online anywhere else. So I truly don't understand why anyone would deliberately cut themselves off from accessing every possible database they could.
I use Ancestry.com New Search. And I like it. I have no problems narrowing down my searches to get more relevant results. If you want to learn how to use New Search, please have a look at these wonderful tips that Randy Seaver has been posting and the Videos that Crista Cowan has put online.
Start with Randy's post Ancestry Drops "Old Search" - Hysteria Ensues He has links there to his helpful tips for using New Search. Then pop over to YouTube for one of Crista Cowan's videos Smart Search: Tips & Tricks
You might also check out my July 2013 blog post Old Search vs New Search - Your Chance to Submit Feedback. It's too late for feedback but you can read the explanation from Ancestry.com and follow their links for tips and suggestions.
Just because something is new or different doesn't mean we all have to ignore it or get angry, or cry out "why do they have to keep changing things". It's called progress. And without progress we would still be using smoke signals as a method of communication instead of email, texting, telephones, Skype, iPhones, Video Chats, Magic Jack and more. And who knows, those genealogists who are refusing to accept New Search might just surprise themselves with how great it is if they gave it half a chance.