Each of our reviews, scores, and rankings is derived from our proprietary Ranking Criteria™. We do not have any relationships with companies that guarantee position, rank or score—and we never will. Like many sites, we are compensated through affiliate relationships with each company we review; however, our Ranking Criteria™, along with real customer reviews from people like you, ensure we remain honest and unbiased. Read on to discover more about how user review moderation and expert scoring is processed or select an industry to see our full ranking criteria.

How we rank for

5% Time in Business

Searchable records is one of the most important factors for a genealogy search company to have. Without these records, online searches would be useless. These records can range from birth, death, marriage, baptism, immigration, military, cemetery, etc. These records are also important to come from across the globe, not just from one country. Documents and photos from newspapers and other sources are included here as well. The best companies offer the most records to search.

10% Cost

Like many other services, you want to find the best prices. We’re not only checking genealogy websites for their monthly (or annual) fees, but if there are any contracts, cancellation fees, money-back guarantees and more.

10% Media

The best companies offer full access to documents, photos, mobile apps, GEDCOM and email communication and use. It is important for genealogy companies to be up to date with user-friendly technology to make searches and uploading better. The team looks for companies who make it easy to use their site and upload their own images and documents as well.

10% Personal Family Information

This criteria point was designed to help users feel that their information is safe and that they were allowed access to communicate with workers and other people to help with their family genealogy. It was important for users to be able to create their own family tree and have the access to other members as well. They should have access to a personal profile that is easy to navigate and access and the directory so they can reach out to others as well.

8% Help

Genealogy search companies should offer users a full toolbox of help features. There should be representatives willing and ready to talk to users when they have questions. There should be tutorials and an online community that members can reach out to other people. The best genealogy companies offer users a free trial as well to see if the fit is right for them.

5% Indexing

Does the genealogy search company offer indexing? This a relatively new feature, but it is an important one as well. Indexing helps update records and allows for more records to be searched. We encourage all companies to adapt these feature.

4% Extra Features

Genealogy websites should offer users additional features to make there service stand out above the rest. The team looks for features in genealogy search companies that makes their service stand out.

4% Time in Business

Although not a perfect indicator, and sometimes biased (based on some things that we’ve seen in the industry), the Better Business Bureau ranking is a very important data point for most consumers. Keep in mind that there are many companies that have very low ratings on their BBB score that are based on the industry they are in, and not consumer feedback.

15% Consumer Reviews

This site is designed to let consumers share their experiences. Given our expertise in many industries and the knowledge that we have gained over the years, we know that some of the most important opinions come from real customers. That is why we have allocated so much of our overall rating to the voice of our validated customer reviews. The Consumer Reviews Score is broken down into three metrics:

  1. The Average User Score
  2. Total Number of Reviews
  3. Total Number of Reviews in the last 12 months

These 3 metrics not only help us understand what consumers are saying, they also help us gain an understanding of volume and recency. All of which are critical to understanding the value of a company in the eyes of the consumer.

Note: this is different from the user score that is displayed on each company profile. The “user score” that is publicly displayed is the average of all user scores published for a given profile.

User Review Moderation

In order to prevent fake and misleading user reviews, BestCompany.com has a review moderation team specifically assigned to moderating all user reviews for all companies listed on the site. This team follows a very specific and strict moderation process that has been designed by gathering learnings from mistakes other major review sites have made in the past.

This moderation process involves a “flag” system where a flag is assessed for each negative attribute associated with a user review. Too many flags result in a disapproval of a user review. Some of the things our moderation staff looks for and assigns potential flags to include:

  • Email address verification of the user
  • IP address duplication and region check
  • User review semantic verification
  • Is the user an employee of the organization?
  • Is the user associated with a competitor of the organization?
  • Foul language of any kind
  • Relevance of the content pertaining to the company and the review

As you can probably tell, we take our user review moderation process very seriously. We believe accuracy and authenticity is critical when it comes to user reviews, and as a result we are constantly finding new ways to evolve our user moderation process to make it better. Please note that while we do our best to manually moderate each and every user review, mistakes can be made; however, our dedication to resolving errors in our process is what sets us apart from other review sites in the industry.

20% Expert Review

Along with the criteria points mentioned above, we take into account a variety of other factors that help determine the viability, stability and trustworthiness of a company. As experts, we conduct an extensive research process specifically tailored to each industry that considers many additional factors including:

  • Financial Standing of the organization
  • The number of industry experts and professionals on staff
  • The company’s ability to scale
  • Historical revenue/growth
  • Past and current lawsuits
  • Customer service and transparency
  • And much more.

We consider this Expert Review process a vital component of how we rank and review companies. As a result, the factors included are always changing, adapting, and updating. We also reserve the right to voice our expert opinions as a part of each review.

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