In a blog comment at BCC, Ronan points out a disturbing fact. A google search for “Mormon Temple” is likely to be one of the first things a curious non-member does; but when you google the term Mormon Temple, the first site that comes up on the list is an ex-Mormon site. In fact, the first four sites listed on the front page are ex-Mormon sites. Of the 10 sites on the front page, five are ex-Mormon, two are links to LDS.org, one is apologetic and two are neutral. So the first page for Mormon Temple is 5-to-2 anti. Exacerbating the issue, the particular lds.org links that google gives for Mormon Temple are likely to be confusing or unhelpful to a nonmember.
This is particularly aggravating since there’s already an easily accessible online resource for non-members. The site http://www.ldstemple.com is church-owned and redirects to a page at the also church-owned mormon.org. It will almost certainly be a redirect to the appropriate church site for the foreseeable future. (And it’s not even in the first 100 results for the google search Mormon Temple!).
What to do? Well, google builds its database by noting which websites are linked by other websites. So it’s time to start linking, my friends, to rescue Mormon Temple from google hell. Here’s how to participate:
1. If you have a website and want to participate in this project, use the term Mormon Temple and link to http://www.ldstemple.com . If you don’t have a website, but want to start one to help out, go to a free weblog site like http://www.blogger.com . You can set up a blog for free, and put up discussion and links on it (such as links to Mormon Temple).
2. Copy this post and e-mail it to friends, family, or co-workers who maintain web sites.
And here at Times and Seasons, we’re happy to lead by example. So cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of war! Witness the firepower of this fully armed and operational battle-station! And let’s all join in bringing Mormon Temple back to the fold. With any luck, we’ll be able to rescue this term within a matter of months. I don’t expect to knock the ex-Mormon links off the list altogether, but we can at least give them some competition when people look for Mormon Temple.
UPDATE: For the technologically challenged, this is what you’ll want to paste onto your website:
<a href="http://www.ldstemple.com">Mormon Temple</a>
That’s it! Put it anywhere you want in the body of the webpage.