Christian SEO - Making A Secular Job Sacred
A Young Christian Google Whisperer (SEO) designing websites and performing Internet marketing
Christian SEO - Making A Secular Job Sacred
Being an SEO and Christian at the same time can sometimes leave me feeling like Milton from Office Space--working a job so lonely and mind-numbing, something as small as a stapler becomes an item of great worth, in my ever-shrinking SERP world.
I enjoy being a Christian SEO; but when I am reminded of the high standards of being an heir and son of God (that all of life is worship, that we are all priests of a holy nation, and that we are to do all things as unto the Lord) it makes me wonder if I have created my own version of a “Milton World.” It is the Christian search for meaning in all things.
So this article is the beginning of what I hope becomes a larger discussion between Christian Internet Marketing firms, Christian SEMs, and other Christian advertising agencies and executives. To that end, I offer two suggestions of what I believe it means to be a Christian search engine guru and two suggestions of what it does not mean.
Two Misconceptions of What it Means to Be a Christian SEO
First, I want to dispel any myth that the Christian search for value or meaning in their work requires them to give away their work or services for free--even to churches. We are free do that--and often times I do offer to help out churches and causes for free--however, Scripture says that you should not muzzle an ox (Deut. 25:4) and a worker is worthy of his wages (Luke 10:7)--yes, even for a lowly Christian advertising specialists like me. I have to remind myself of that. I have to remind myself that I have no reason to feel guilty for earning a living.
This leads in to the second point. Living in the reality of the gospel reminds me that I am not living a life of obligation--a life of having to prove my worth or offer works worthy of heaven. Christ has paid it all--and thank goodness He has, because the treadmill of obligation never allows for us to be able to say that we have done enough. So the second point, of which I remind myself, is that the world of Christian search engine optimization is no different from the rest of my world--it is all God breathed and full of grace. I can lay down obligation, so that I can pick up the fruit of God’s will for my life; which brings us to the next point.
Two Truths of What it means to be a Christian SEO
So how does being a Christian search engine guru differ for me, than for someone who is not a Christ follower? It differs in that I have a relationship with a God who loves me and desires to use my small talents to create great works of value that reach far beyond what I could do without Him.
Scripture is an amazing piece of work. It is a collection of the critical history, philosophy, psychology, science, poetry, and legal codes that span 6,000 of the history of God’s people--all in less than a thousand pages! Every word is very carefully chosen; which is why Exodus was mind-boggling to me, the first time I read it. Chapters 25-30 go in to tedious detail on how to build a tabernacle. Then to my astonishment, it says, “and they built it,” repeating the same information, almost word for word, from chapters 35-40!
Why would such precious space be wasted on this repetition? I do not even allow that much repetitive code in the Christian Internet sites I build. I now believe the reason to be God’s desire to draw our attention to something very significant: our talents, in God’s hands, allow us to take part in building things greater than we could begin to imagine.
The talents of Ancient Israel, in obedience to the voice of God, produced something greater than they could have ever built on their own: a place of sacred space and communion, between God and His people.
On my own, I can use my Christian based search engine optimization talents to lift churches in the SERP rankings; but if I am willing to wait and act out of direction from God, I may be led to build Christian Internet sites that deepen my communion with the Almighty--who knows. All I do know, is that my talents do not add obligation to my life; instead, they are simply tools for God to welcome me in to joining Him in His work. That is a thought which gives me great joy and anticipation, wondering about the possibilities.
The final point I would like to offer stems from the Scriptural principles of honoring your word (Pr. 12:17) and doing your work, “as unto the Lord.” (Col. 3:23-24) Since most of the work is done behind the scenes with no one watching, and since there little more to go by than the rankings achieved, the majority of the Link Portfolio building process requires the word of the SEO being hired to complete the necessary work. So the value of honoring one’s word becomes very important for the Christian SEO, as well as for any potential client desiring to hire a Christian search engine optimization expert.
So to summarize, being a Christian SEO is not just another obligation added to my life, it is my hope and my chance to be able to further commune with the Divine and be an honorable representative of His will--in my professional life, as well as in my personal life.
Time is money.
It's a motto I've always believed in and have done my best to live out. So why would I actively seek out to build an SEO firm in Nashville, Tennessee? The entire field of Internet Marketing, whether it be search engine optimization or search engine marketing, is one which is very time consuming!
Why would I invest so much time into building other people’s visibility and business online? It took me a while to understand it, but I figured out why it is so rewarding to me. It goes back to the concept that time is money. But time is a currency unlike any other. It is a currency that we can only spend and never keep.
Years ago, before I entered into this world of being an SEO in Nashville, I was busy earning degrees in Biblical Studies and Theology. The best ministers don’t spend all of their time hidden away in dusty libraries--even though I used to love those long days of sifting through old commentaries. The best pastors spend their days visiting and talking to people--pouring love and caring into the lives of the people. That is the best way to spend their currency of time.
I get a similar enjoyment out of partnering with businesses at all levels of conception, to help them build their business and see their dreams to fruition. It may seem silly that I find enjoyment in spending 16 hours a day sitting at a computer. But it’s not the long hours, it’s the lives I get to help impact and the dreams I get to help bring into reality that gives me passion for doing SEO work.
For me, it's time well spent.
Last year, it is said that Google updated their algorithm 470 times.
No one outside of Google truly knows the number of times they made changes to the way their rank pages. But I know for certain that estimated number of changes actually refers most accurately to their “data refreshes” and not to major algorithm adjustments.
Regardless, it amuses me how paranoid a lot of SEOs become whenever anyone hints of changes. I fully expect to see some superstitions start forming around these rumors. Every time an SEO reads the words “algorithm update” they have to rub their Darth Vader bobble-head.
To some degree I understand the apprehension. Natural SEO rankings can be as lucrative to a business as a Super Bowl commercial; but quality SEO--that goes beyond relying on gimmicks and spammy techniques to build PR--should translate into undeniable proof of quality. Quality that data refreshes and algorithm updates will reward.
I sleep very well at night. Checking my clients ranking each morning is never a scary endeavor. It’s a relaxing way to start a morning. My cup of familiar coffee. I suspect this is much the same with other quality SEOs.
The cat and mouse game of black hat and spam SEO is quickly becoming a thing of the past. There are only so many creative ways to cheat the system and Google is becoming far better at detecting and eliminating the junk--470 ways better last year, the rumors report.
So just focus on quality. Sure, SEOs need to know the little details such as using strong instead of bold in code; but honestly, at the end of the day, the best site with the best content will have the best sites pointing back to it and all will still be right and good in the Google SERP World.
Feel free to Email me with any questions or comments you may have.