Don't you love it when you search for LDS topics online and are deluged with false or bigoted information?
By linking to LDS web sites from your blog, Facebook page, mySpace page, forum, or other website, you can help improve the ranking of correct information on the internet!
How to choose where to link
- Do a search for some popular search terms where incorrect information is likely to
show up, like "mormon", "mormon cult", "lds",
"lds church", "mormans" (with the 'a'), "mormanism", "mormonism", "mormon temple ritual",
"mormon temple", "mormon holy underwear" .... you get the idea. Ignore the first few
links (they already have a high search ranking and don't need your help).
- Carefully read the material on some of the lower ranked pages on the next few
pages of search results, and select your favorite. Three or four pages down should be
- Now, add a link on your website that looks something like this: <a title="the search term you chose" href="http://www.thewebsiteYouChose/something.html">the
search term you chose</a>.
- Remember, don't use the website's name or URL as the linked text -- use the
search term you typed to find this website as the linked text to help that
page rise in search engine rankings.
Click on the following images to see results for a May 13, 2008 Google search for the word
"mormon". I've marked the websites that I'd consider linking with green arrows:
So, if I were linking to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir site, here's what my link would
look like: <a title="mormon" href="http://www.mormontabernaclechoir.org/">mormon</a>
How it works
One of the ways search engines determine how to rank websites is by following links from
other websites. For example, this website is so
high in the search engines because hundreds of you have linked to this website with the
words "lds clipart" or "lds primary" in the link or in text on pages linking to this site.
By linking to websites with correct, positive information about the church, you can
help lift websites that have good information in search rankings, helping individuals
find correct information online.
What else can I do?
Here's what Elder Ballard says:
"This is your world, the world of the future, with inventions undreamed of that will come in your lifetime as they have in mine. How will you use these marvelous inventions? More to the point, how will you use them to further the work of the Lord? ...
"From its beginnings, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has used the power of the printed word to spread the message of the Restored gospel throughout the world. ... The Lord over the centuries has had a hand in inspiring people to invent tools that facilitate the spreading of the gospel. The Church has adopted and embraced those tools, including print, broadcast media, and now the Internet. ... Now some of these tools � like any tool in an unpracticed or undisciplined hand � can be dangerous. The Internet can be used to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ and can just as easily be used to market the filth and sleaze of pornography. iTunes can be used to download uplifting and stirring music or the worst kind of anti-social lyrics, full of profanity. Social networks on the Web can be used to expand healthy friendships as easily as they can be used by predators trying to trap the unwary.
"There are conversations going on about the Church constantly. Those conversations will continue whether or not we choose to participate in them. But we cannot stand on the sidelines while others, including our critics, attempt to define what the Church teaches.
"The Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ has no doubt had a powerful impact on your life. It has, in part, shaped who you are and what your future will be. Do not be afraid to share with others your story, your experiences as a follower of the Lord, Jesus Christ. We all have interesting stories that have influenced our identity. Sharing those stories is a non-threatening way to talk to others. Telling those stories can help demystify the Church. ... You could help overcome ... misconceptions through your own sphere of influence, which ought to include the Internet. ...
"Every disciple of Christ will be most effective, and do the most good by adopting a demeanor worthy of a follower of the Savior of the world. Discussions focused on questioning, debating and doubting gospel principles do little to build the kingdom of God. ... As you participate in this conversation and utilize the tools of New Media, remember who you are�you are Latter-day Saints. Remember as the Proverb states that �a soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger� (Proverbs 15:1). And remember that "contention is of the devil." There is no need to argue or contend with others regarding our beliefs. There is no need to become defensive or belligerent. Our position is solid; the Church is true. We simply need to have a conversation, as friends in the same room would have, always guided by the promptings of the Spirit and constantly remembering the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ which reminds us of how precious are the children of our Father in Heaven."
Elder Ballard goes on to give examples of Church members recording testimonies and
posting them in video form online, contacting media sources when incorrect information
about the church is published, and blogging about missionary experiences.
So in short, you can help by participating in non-combative conversations where
you may share truths about the gospel online.
Tweeting your Mormon Love
You can use Twitter posts to share information about Mormonism online. By adding the hashtags #lds #mormon #ldsconf (General Conference) to your tweets, you can share in the Twitter conversation about the church.
In April 2010, I tweeted quotes from conference and helped members worldwide make LDS General Conference a trending (most popular) topic at Twitter. You can read about my experience and how you can participate at the preceding link.