We just released a round of improvements, mostly to our search and matching functions.
1.) Secondary Sort.
As you may know, you are able to sort search results by first name, last name, birth date, death date, or profile manager.
Now you can also do a secondary sort, i.e. order the sorted results by first name, last name, birth date, death date, or profile manager.
For example, if you search for John Smith and you sort by first name, that will put all the Johns apart from those with John as a middle name. You can then order all the Johns by birth date or whatever you prefer.
Secondary sort has also been added to Watchlists (here's yours) and surname index pages (e.g. Smith).
Note that on surname index pages you have to break out of the default (cached) view to see all the sort options. Then the sort options are on the right.
This feature was requested here in G2G by Bob Keniston.
2.) Matching for "Unknown".
As some advanced WikiTreers have commented on here in the past, our search engine ignored people with the last name "Unknown". We were afraid that matching Unknowns with each other and with others would provide too many irrelevant results. Now that most profiles have dates this isn't as much of a danger.
I think the way we've done it now should be an improvement and help catch duplicates that were being missed before. That said, it may provide too many results in some cases. I'm especially concerned about MatchBot. I'm talking to the leaders of the MatchBot Monitors project about this. (That's a great and valuable project, by the way, and they could use more help here if anyone is interested.)
By the way, some members have requested that "Unknown" be searchable so that they can actually find people named Unknown. I appreciate the desire to do this, but it's still not possible. Unknown is treated as blank, i.e. "Unknown" is considered an empty last name, not as the last name Unknown. Searching for Mary Unknown, for example, will have as good a chance as matching Mary Smith or Mary Jones as matching someone named Mary Unknown.
3.) Improved Handling of Two-Word First Names.
Finally, we should now be doing a better job matching two-word first names. For example, "Marie A", "Marie A.", "Marie Anne", and "Marie-Anne" should now match with each other over other Maries and Annes.
We've also been working on improving the matching of two-word last names and last names with periods, hyphens, spaces, etc. Soon we should do a better job matching St. Laurent with St Laurent, St-Laurent, etc.
Onward and upward,