21 March 2014

Do They Use Their Company's Product?

Today's post has been interrupted to bring you the following rant. The photos from Monday's tree will be featured in a future post.
You'll probably be surprised to hear that this post will not be about Ancestry finally doing away with the "old" search. Dragging out the search change for five years was dumb but this move is, in my opinion, much worse.
Most, if not all, of you will recognize this as the bottom of the advanced search box:

The "Collection Priority" only works if you click the "Show only" box because why make something a one-step process when you can make it two, especially when the first step accomplishes absolutely nothing. That's a whole other rant, sorry. Back to the image.
Below the drop-down you can choose which collections you want included in your search results: Historical records, Stories & publications, Family trees, and Photos & maps. It should come as no surprise to regular readers of my blog that I never check the Family trees or Photos & maps boxes.
A SIDE NOTE: Both the drop-down and the check boxes are "sticky" meaning that they won't change until you change them. If you go on vacation and forget that you were working only with collections involving Australian maps just before you left you might be very confused by your search results when you come back to look for records of your Native American ancestors. 

The options for the unchecked boxes are still there, a click away, but those results are not included in the main search results. Until now. Family trees are still filtered out, thank goodness. The issue is with the photo portion of Photos & maps. Here is an example:

For this search I had Historical records and Stories & publications checked. Unfortunately the first four results are photos. There is a portrait, a headstone, a document and something on a private tree. This has to be a glitch right? If I say something it will be fixed and I can go back to seeing the results I want to see, right? I posted that last image on Ancestry.com's Facebook page and an employee responded:
"OK, I checked on this and as I mentioned it's coming up in results because it's a database and because it includes scanned documents that are historical records, it is categorized as such. Since there is no way to separate out the different kinds of media in the collection with search, that is why you're seeing images. Hope that clarifies it for you. Have a good day!"
Seriously?!!? Apparently Ancestry's decision makers are not familiar with the loads of crap posted on clickophile trees. Making it worse is the fact that photos already on our tree and those that are ignored hints do not get filtered out. In the search example above two of the four images are already attached and a third was ignored as a hint.
I searched from another profile with the same two boxes checked and 10 of the first 15 results, six family photos and four documents, were items I uploaded. The other 5 were for photos on a private tree.
It looks like removing the "Show only" check removes photos from the first page of search results but depending on the profile it could cause other issues. Basically Ancestry's programmers are making the first page of search results useless. Do they use their company's product?
Photos on Ancestry can be categorized. It's very useful. For what, I have no idea. The category options are Portrait/Family Photo, Site/Building/Place, Headstone, Document/Certificate, and Other. You can't sort the photos by category in the profile's gallery or in the tree's gallery. You can't search for images by category. But since there are some documents uploaded as photos Ancestry is adding all photos to the historical records search. Now we have no way to stay away from the Disney Princess, Care Bear insanity while we're searching for records. What a terrific idea. (sigh)

NEXT POST: Moore or Less

1 comment:

  1. We all be pulling our hair out! Are they prepared to pay for the Psychiatry bills?