Leith Anderson in the Search Engines

Mark Driscoll’s latest blog post on how churches should respond to pastoral crises of falling leaders (ie . . Haggard) has made me think about how churches and their web sites should also be geared to BLESS their rising leaders (ie . . . Anderson).

Yesterday I did a search for NAE Interim President Leith Anderson, not because i don’t know who he is – i do and have eaten with the man – but I wanted to see what the world would find when they typed “Leith Anderson” in their search engines.

And guess who was first? An adversarial site [Lighthouse Trails] that does not appreciate the gift that is Leith Anderson. The same site that slams the emerging church for being six degrees from Dallas Willard and slams prayer movements for being contemplative.

Zoolander           3HELLO?

he he he he



Has there EVER been a prayer ministry that has not been contemplative?

[Having said that about Lighthouse, I should add that LighthouseTrails has a very personal message regarding Haggard that is worth reading and made me second guess the site. I might even order Catherine’s book called Laughter Calls Me]

Anyway, where was I? I took another shot today at finding Leith and looky what happened. Lighthouse has gone to number 3 and Wooddale Church has moved to first place. My guess is that the folk at Google jumped in, expecting the rush, and added some human insight because the system was not going to work right for Leith Anderson. Yahoo is kinder to Leith and points to his books before landing at his church [No. 7]

Images-1Have you tried linking to Leith Anderson? Almost impossible. The only place on his church site is a group photo with frames. Here is why Leith gets no respect in Googleland . . . his church web site is flash driven and there is no static anchor text for Leith so he doesn’t get the necessary permanent links he needs to control his own story.

Which causes me to say . .. hey . . . church webmasters . . instead of forking out the big bucks for fancy graphics and morphing flash icons, go out and buy a $10 book on SEO (search engine optimization) and let your pastor take his/her rightful place in the rankings. And if you cant do that, be honest and tell them to get their own blog and start laying down some history and some ranking cred because the day may come . . and indeed is now upon Leith Anderson . . . when the myriads and the masses will come looking.

Blessed is he who is found ready.

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Andrew Jones launched his first internet space in 1997 and has been teaching on related issues for the past 20 years. He travels all the time but lives between Wellington, San Francisco and a hobbit home in Prague.


  • Chris Stiles says:

    Isn’t the low-keyness a good thing?

  • andrew says:

    its a good thing to control your own story, and be positioned to give your gift directly to the people who are asking for it
    who wants to get stuck with absolom at the gate when you want to speak with david?

  • ok . . . i get your point, Kevin.

  • Matt Tew says:

    “go out and buy a $10 book on SEO?”
    Perhaps if you had of done that, you’d know that Google doesn’t manually adjust search results – No “human insight”; it’s all algorithmic.
    The sudden upsurge in position for Wooddale Church would be to do with thousands of bloggers suddenly using this as a hyperlink for “Leith Anderson”, because, as you point out, there is no better option.
    Valid points though, good post!

  • Tom Götze says:

    The unfair thing is the rising up of the gay community in such a evil way. And I talk about “the community”, not about the precious personalities in it. Let me explain that to you:
    It doesn’t matter how I decide. If I say it was good, that Haggards actions where exposed, gay people will bash the church and us as christians for being such hypocrites and doing the same thing behind closed doors.
    If I say it was wrong of Mike Jones to expose these things, then the gay community will bash us for being unfair, against them, having no acceptance and no love for them.
    So what?
    This makes me really angry. And this whole media crap makes me angry even more.
    And it makes me also angry, that our Brother Ted had to hide all this for so long. What kind of church did he found there? What is this evangelical movement all about? Is it possible, that what you judge you become yourself? (any bible reference here?)
    Well, talking about getting angry might be the wrong term. But there is something rising up in me about this. Like the roar of a lion. I would prefer to silence them all just for 24 hours. [Not talking about killing them….] So that they have time to THINK instead of what they do now.
    I for myself try to ask God what comes next. I try my best to let God do through me, what He wants. If that means serving people, then I do that. And I have no problem with talking to sexually tangled people about their problems and their lives. Not at all. I have acceptance and love for the people behing all this sin stuff. But not for the sin in itself.
    And I am glad I have friends and brothers and sisters whom I could always talk to, when I had problems with pornography. I can even talk about that in church. I can ask people for help and prayer and can confess things. That is so wonderful. I am thankful to all who support the ministry God is allowing me to do and still I can be honest.
    This should be the atmosphere a christian church should have. Not this fear, shame and *whatever* atmosphere.
    Hope you guys get my point here. I’m german and my english might be irritating somehow.

  • Anderson says:

    I’m for whatever you want to study, preach, worship or whatever. I’ll fight for your right to do that! Just don’t push it on ME. You know… freedom of religion and freedom FROM religion. Assholes like Ted (and Tom) judge others, preach hate and then climb behind the curtain to get nasty… ICK!
    Hypocrites = Evangelicals

  • Tom Götze says:

    Thanks for calling me an asshole… Won’t jump on that buddy. 😉

  • i think the guy who called you that is gone . . maybe he is hiding behind the curtain?

  • Tom Götze says:

    hehe … maybe Andrew, maybe…. by the way, I decided to put my comment on my own blog as a posting. If anyone wants to write his/her comment to me personal…
    You’ll find it here: http://www.english.riverofgod.de/?p=47

  • Catherine Brown says:

    Dear Andrew,
    I would be happy to send you a complimentary copy of Laughter Calls Me. Just email me and tell me where to send it.

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