Note: This was originally posted on the FamilyTreeCircles blog over a year ago. As I'm pulling that content into the new FTC blog, I've been post-dating them. But this one I think is worth reading again, so I'm setting the dates to today.
Catching up on my blog-reading, I came across Randy Seaver's post about "cousin bait".
Here's his overview...
Greta Koehl used the term "Cousin Bait" last month in her post Online Trees about the purpose of posting online family tree data. At least, that was the first use of the term I've seen published - an excellent term! Her point was that putting a family tree online in a database or on a web page may help induce distant cousins, who share your ancestry, into contacting you and perhaps provide more information about the common ancestral families.
While I've also never thought of it as "cousin bait", this is exactly what I had in mind when I created FamilyTreeCircles.com.
I've always described the concept as "casting a net" for other family tree researchers to find your posts, and then connect via FamilyTreeCircles.com.
And it's true that you can set some very effective bait with some simple posts on FamilyTreeCircles.com.
I wish Randy's example produced a FamilyTreeCircles.com result, but alas. Let's take a look at some recent posts and how they rank on Google.
Starting with the most recent FamilyTreeCircles.com journal, William SPINLEY + Emily WILHAM - Auckland 1800s, posted about an hour prior to writing this blog post.
A Google search for [William Spinley] produces a number one search result on Google just an hour after it was posted...
Here's another example of a more popular search result, [white family dna], 17MM results.
The author of this entry about a White family DNA project posted it here on FamilyTreeCircles as well as on Genforum at about the same time.
Her FamilyTreeCircles post is #3 on Google.com. The Genforum post is at #6. While not all posts make it to the first page of Google's results, both are a very effective way of getting some search engine exposure of your genealogy work.
If you're not doing so already, you should consider adding FamilyTreeCircles.com to your toolbox for getting your "cousin bait" out there on the search engine result pages.