I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Since it’s establishment in 1830, the “Mormon” Church has been the target of other churches, defamers and the anti-religious. And although we are not usually subject to the threat of physical harm or the loss of our homes, property or jobs, as were our progenitors, you will find that the persecution of the Mormons and the false accusations that accompany that persecution are alive and well in our society today. Simple online searches return SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) riddled with anti-Mormon websites and blogs meant to misinform and ridicule the LDS Church. Don’t get me wrong, there are many faithful Latter-Day Saints who maintain their own websites and blogs who help counter the opposition and provide the truth about our beliefs and practices, but more often than not these pro-LDS sites do something counter-productive that I’d like to address in this post.
For some time now, I’ve been very concerned by the use of links to anti-Mormon websites by our pro-LDS sites. The purpose of the link may be to provide an easy path for readers to find the anti-Mormon information being discussed, however, they’re also passing valuable PageRank to those sites which gives those anti-Mormon sites valuable rankings in the search engines, helping to further their cause to misinform visitors and attack the Church. The recent passage of Proposition 8 in California, for example, was followed by extreme hatred and persecution toward the LDS Church from opponents of the Amendment. Along with the many stories and articles by the opposition, came many stories and articles by members of the Church. Each time a pro-LDS site linked to an anti-Mormon article or story, the opposition’s cause was furthered online.
Now, I’m not going to try to teach you how to get rankings in search engines in this post, but my advice would be to fix the damage that has been done. There are two ways to make sure that the opposition cannot benefit from your site.
- Remove the link completely. Leaving only the text URL for a visitor to copy and paste into a new browser window/tab.
- Add the rel=”nofollow” attribute to the link. By adding rel=”nofollow” to the link, the link is still able to be clicked on by site visitors, but the search engines will not pass PageRank to the site you are linking to.UPDATE: Instructions on adding “nofollow” to the links:
When you view the source code of your post, you will see that all links start with an anchor tag with the url for the link, followed by the link text, then followed by the ending anchor tag. It may look something like this:
<a href="http://www.scottdimmick.com/" target="_blank">Link Text</a>
You will want to edit it to look like this:
<a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.scottdimmick.com/" target="_blank">Link Text</a>
If we all are able to remove links to these sites or add the nofollow tag to past pages and all future pages, we may see a decrease in the number of search engine results for anti-Mormon sites in the future. Also, remember, that if we link to our fellow LDS sites, we can push their sites and pages up in the rankings.