If you are an Ancestry.com “Old Search” user, you definitely remember the 27 June 2013 announcement that it would soon retire its Old Search engine. Immediately users began expressing concerns. Ancestry.com was quick to respond. (See “Ancestry.com Responds to Old Search Controversy.”) They clarified that they don’t want to get rid of Old Search, the functionality. They are retiring Old Search, the underlying servers.
That means they must adapt the code on their current search servers to provide Old Search functionality. To make certain they get it right, they offered a survey to users, allowing them to specify what functionality they needed and expected.
“We received thousands of survey responses,” said Matt Deighton, Ancestry.com spokesperson. “By far, the most popular features in the old search experience among old search users were the ability to view search results grouped by category and the availability of a simple search form with an exact option.”
“In our work to bring the best of both our old and new search features into the primary experience, we have released a new search mode,” said Deighton. Ancestry.com is calling it “Category Exact Mode.”
The new mode includes the two experiences requested, a simple search form with an exact option and results grouped by category.
“Old search users will see a banner announcing this feature in the old search experience after September 4th,” said Deighton, “but the feature is available now.” Information on how to enable it can be found in this article.
Users of Old Search should try it out and see that it does what they need. You can then provide feedback to help Ancestry.com tailor the mode to your desired experience.