Monday, September 3, 2012

Mocavo? - Madness Monday

You know that Mocavo is an online search engine devoted specifically to family history and genealogy websites, right? It says of itself, "Mocavo is the leading free Internet search engine for genealogy. The data in our indexes only includes information of interest to family historians. You will not find Facebook pages, LinkedIn profiles, or YouTube videos in your Mocavo results."

Mocavo sent me an email and asked, "Tired of finding someone else's Dear Aunt Sally?"

Well, actually, I'd almost be thrilled to find someone else's dear Aunt Sally. The fact is, when I search Mocavo (the free, basic edition), I find my own ancestors -- the ones I already found and published posts about on this very blog.

See? These are the results for my search on my uncommon surname "Meinzen."

The very strangest thing I find is that most of the posts are listed in the results at least twice and some up to five times! Not only that, many of the posts aren't even about my Meinzens. Yes, several of the posts above are about my Meinzens, but most are about Gerners, Doyles, Bartleys, and/or other family members. (And I didn't show you all the results.)

Mocavo gives so many results for my unusual surname because it finds "Meinzen" on the sidebar of my blog (under my surname list) for every single post and when it searches the posts associated with my labels. It's crazy! (As my daughter might say.)

I wonder if there's a way to tell Mocavo to search only the posts themselves and to ignore surnames listed on the sidebar and elsewhere on a blog. Anyone know? (Subscribing to their plus version is not an option.)


  1. I'm not sure about excluding sidebar results, but there are symbols which can narrow down general results.

    Enter the term and then the keyword(s) you don't want included in your search with a minus symbol in front, like: 'Meinzen -nancysfamilyhistory' that way your blog is excluded from the results.

    You can include specific terms using the ~ symbol, like: 'Meinzen ~Ohio' that way only Meinzen results that mention Ohio will come up.

    You can combine the two also, like: 'Meinzen ~Ohio ~Doyle -Bartley -Gerner'

    1. Leah, thanks for pointing this out. I knew about these specific ways to search but did not realize they worked for Mocavo and, obviously, I hadn't tried them. Your suggestion was helpful. Thank you.

  2. Nancy, Leah's suggestions are great. You should also see an option for each entry that says "I've seen this" (or something similar), so those results that aren't your Meinzens can be eliminated from your results the next time around.

    1. Thanks for the suggestion, Jenny. It may be that that option is available only with the paid version. With the free version there's a tab after each result that says, "Rate This Result." It drops down to offer options such as "positive match," "maybe match," etc. I'll explore Mocavo a little more.

  3. Shoot, I'd be happy (for other people) if any of my blog entries on my ancestors came up in the Mocavo search results.

    What I get are hits on find a grave - the record for the person in the search, and then every single one of the family links.

    At least twice.

    1. Dee, I wonder why Mocavo doesn't find your posts. That seems really strange. I don't know much about your blogging platform but in blogger, behind the scenes, it gives us the option to let search engines find our posts - or not. Does your blogging program offer that?

  4. How interesting, I had not come across that Search Engine before - I have now! Thanks


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