Breaking Down the Mormon SEO Strategy

Last week while I was at lunch, I came across this submission on Hacker News about how Avinash discussed the effectiveness of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ SEO practices.

LDS Keyword Tag Cloud

A tag cloud very quickly shows the story in hundreds of thousands of keywords. In the case above, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it becomes quickly apparent that the Mormon Church has done a near magnificent job with search. - Avinash

As an SEO, I was naturally interested in their strategy, so I looked deeper. What I found was extremely interesting and a great case study of the power of SEO (and how to do it well).

[All data in examples below was taken from competitive intelligence tools as I don’t have access to data for LDS sites.]

Traffic Acquisition

One of the valuable benefits of organic search marketing is targeting searchers who have not yet been exposed to your brand. Through targeting highly searched terms, a website can expose their messaging to new users. LDS does an incredible job at attracting traffic from a variety of non-branded religious and non-religious terms.

Top Non-Branded Organic Search Terms

These are the top twenty non-branded terms sending traffic to the LDS website.

LDS top organic keywords

Source: SEMRush tool on Raven tools, excluding mentions of LDS, Latter Day Saints, and Mormon(s). Ranking checked with SEO Book Toolbar.

The LDS website is targeting a diverse set of religious terms such as Jesus Christ, church, church music, scripture, and new testament. They’re also targeting some interesting non-religious terms including friend, young women, chastity, and safeguarding children.

When you look at these terms, and data on the value of a Google result position, it’s easy to see how the LDS church is effectively using SEO to attract new visitors to its church. If only companies were this effective.

How Are They Doing It?

If you’re not accustom to SEO, I recommend taking a moment to read over SEOmoz’s Beginner’s Guide to SEO, but all you really need to know is that Google uses links between sites to evaluate relationships and the quality of content. When looking at links, Google evaluates factors like quantity, popularity, trust, and words used when linking (also known as anchor text).

A Lot of Links

Let’s just say, LDS has a lot of links from lots of different sites.

LDS Links on SEOmoz Toolbar

Source: SEOmoz Toolbar

If you sort the Top 500 Most Important Sites on the Internet by External Links, LDS would sit right under MTV.com (3,508,016 links) in number of external links. That’s a lot of links.

Anchor Text Distribution

Anchor text, or the words used when linking, are a significant ranking factor used by search engines to determine the words associated with a piece of content. Users often link with phrases such as brand terms, company name, and URLs. A website’s rankings can be increased by increasing the number of inbound links with descriptive (keyword rich) anchor links.

Below is a tag cloud of the anchor text of inbound links pointing at LDS.org.

LDS Anchor Cloud

(click to enlarge)

Source: Linkscape API and Tagxedo (excluding terms including < and http).

The keyword cloud visually demonstrates the distribution of keywords used when linking to LDS.org. This is an impressive link profile and doesn’t come together on its own.

Interesting Facts About LDS.org’s Links

  • Over 100 unique domains link to LDS.org with the EXACT anchor text “church”
  • 60 unique domains link to LDS.org with the EXACT anchor text “Jesus”
  • 70% of the domains linking with the exact anchor “Jesus” are from domains with the word “Mormon” in the domain name
  • There are directory submissions anchored with “Jesus Christ”
  • The most powerful exact “church” anchored link comes from Microsoft.com

Source: SEOmoz Linkscape API

What Is Attracting Links

They have a lot great links, so the next natural question was “what is attracting all these links.”

Top Linked to Content

  1. http://lds.org/
  2. http://scriptures.lds.org/
  3. http://jesuschrist.lds.org/SonOfGod/eng/
  4. http://scriptures.lds.org/bm/contents
  5. http://jesuschrist.lds.org/
  6. http://maps.lds.org/
  7. http://newsroom.lds.org/
  8. http://radio.lds.org/eng/
  9. http://lds.org/churchhistory/museum
  10. http://tech.lds.org/

(Dead URLs, non-canonical URLs, and redirects have been removed)

Source: SEOmoz Linkscape API

Nothing crazy here, just more solid SEO practices. A lot of diverse content, resources, and community content.

Yes, They Have an SEO Strategy

So did LDS just get lucky, produce great content, and earn top rankings without an SEO strategy?

Nope.

They seem to have a very focused and consistent SEO strategy behind their website. A bit of searching brought me to this thread on the LDS website in March 2007, where a forum user asked if the church has invested in SEO.  Larry Richman, the Director of Product Awareness at LDS, posted that they were looking at SEO and had a team working on it.

By the end of 2007, it looks like LDS got around to link building.

New links per month

Source: Majestic SEO

The graph above shows the number of links discovered each month. Between late 2007 and early 2008, the LDS.org link acquisition hit a steady rate. Spikes can be indicative of a large push, promotion, or major event. A steady graph can create a linear growth rate, which may be indicative of acquiring the same number of links each month. The LDS link profile has been fairly linear since early 2008 until 2010.

LDS growth rate

According to a post on a wiki on LDS.org, their SEO team is currently targeting terms such as employment, debt management, and food storage with their website ProvidentLiving.org and are looking for assistance in link building.

LDS Gets SEO Education

I’m impressed by how much LDS gets SEO and sets out to educate their webmasters. A blog that started as ldsWebguy.com (Larry Richman), which has now rebranded as LDSMediaTalk.com, does a great job at educating members of the church on the basics of SEO. By the end of 2007, LDS had written a blog post on How to Build Links to Your Website, a post that corresponds well with the upturn in link acquisition. They have also posted not once, but twice, on how to optimize links.

Learn From LDS

I wrote this post because LDS impressed me with how they have leveraged inbound marketing to dramatically improve their outreach. Their strategy is much more forward thinking than many organizations and companies. They’re a great example of how to leverage SEO to grow awareness of your organization. They do seem to have some technical SEO issues they could improve upon, but they’ve been effective in their link building.

Takeaways From LDS’s SEO Strategy

  • Keep up with current marketing trends.
  • Target a diverse set of non-branded relevant terms that will attract interested searchers.
  • Target terms that will attract first time visitors.
  • Links matter, and so does anchor text.
  • Leverage your community, partners, and resources available.
  • Educate your internal team and external colleagues on SEO best practices.
  • Leverage your community to build links.
  • Create great content that people can link to.

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60 Comments

  1. Great post, Justin! It'd be interesting to see how LDS's SEO initiatives compare to other religious organizations. I'd even like to go above and beyond and hear what LDS has to say about their SEO strategy. Interview opportunity? I think so.

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  2. Great post, and a good example of the power of SEO. I wish I had a congregation/flock to build links for me.

    Do you have any information on how well those terms convert? haha! (Someone had to say it.)

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  3. Wow you think the church of Scientology would be right on their tail ;)

    Great post, I had no idea but it makes a lot of sense.

    reply >
  4. Jared L.

    Very interesting. Thanks for the post.

    A point about the "non-branded" terms:
    "The Friend" is the LDS church's magazine for children.
    "New Era" is a magazine for teenagers.
    "Ensign" is the monthly magazine for adults in the U.S.
    "Young Women" is the church's organization for teenage girls 12-18 years old.
    The "distribution center" is the church's store for teaching materials, artwork, etc.

    I just wanted to point out these non-religious terms are Mormon terms and church members searching those are looking for church websites.

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  5. At least someone understands SEO :)

    I like how they're targeting "young women".

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    • Steve Florman

      Just to clarify, there's nothing sinister about that. "Young Women" is what the LDS Church calls its developmental program for girls ages 12-18. The corresponding boys' program is "Young Men," and together they're often abbreviated as "YM/YW."

  6. Nice job Justin. I noticed about a year ago that they targeting a lot of keywords. I have several websites in the religious category and I was shocked at how many times they came up. I did not however think that they were this organized, thanks for the great post.

    Daniel

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  7. Justin

    @Adria

    Yeah, I didn't compare them side-by-side with other organizations, but I saw a bit of discussion along that topic in the HN comments. An interview would be nice.

    @Page One SEO

    While researching, I wondered what they set as "goals" on their website.

    @Jared

    Yeah, I saw that several of their terms are from well named items associated with the church. Which I think just shows great branding and marketing outside of SEO.

    I wouldn't call some of those keyword phrases "Mormon terms". I'd assume a lot of people who search for "friend", "young women" and "distribution center" aren't all Mormons.

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  8. Nice little case study, I love it!

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  9. Great Post Justin, nice to see the insights from the SEO tools you are using.

    It just goes to show that building an SEO strategy is not a short term measure, but a long term goal. If you work on your SEO long term like LDS have you'll eventually reap the rewards.

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  10. @Page One SEO - Love the pun!

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  11. LOTS of work went into this study. GREAT JOB! As an SEO and member of the LDS church, I love to see this. This was no small undertaking, and this post deserves all the links that it can garner. Tweeted.

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  12. Ok, Jesus understands SEO!!lol

    Excellent case study, it is very interesting.

    Thanks Justin!!

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  13. Zac

    You should post something on their social and mobile strategy too... to @jared's point...those terms are obviously not "mormon" terms and I don't think that is what Jared meant... probably referring to why young women is a high traffic keyword... or new era or ensign... Us Mormons (yes I am one) use these as resources for teaching lessons, giving talks etc. And Google search is better than an internal search :-)

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  14. Zac

    I should also add... I'm not sure that ldsmediatalk is church sponsored... He may just be helping others with their religious blog... a closer look at the footer confirms this... So I'm not sure this was part of an "SEO Strategy" as you imply in the article...

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  15. The LDS church has put a lot into improving their website and overall marketing strategy...

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  16. Justin

    @Illiya

    Thanks! - I tried to teach a bit about how we do things here at Distilled and the tools we use.

    And I agree. It does a lot to show how they didn't get here overnight. They have a great long term strategy.

    @AJ

    Thanks! I appreciate the comment!

    @Zac

    Looking around, the church seems to be doing well with local and social. I saw a few comments about mobile, but haven't looked into it.

    I'm uncertain how ldsmediatalk plays in the organization of the church, but I think it does a great job of showing how well informed the community is, even if it isn't directly church sponsored.

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  17. Loui

    I don't know about this one Justin. A lot of people use Majestic to check if there was done any linkbuilding, but they could have changed the website somewhere in 2007 where information got more public and it got more links.

    http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.lds.org

    Also majestic is about the discovery of links and their servers and service expanded alot due to their succes. = More link discovery perhaps?

    And churches are using the internet more and more lately, we have a priest here in Holland who's twittering about all kinds of religious things..

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  18. Rae Alton

    I think it's safe to say that we knew it would be strictly white hat! Sorta...

    You forgot one thing, though: it helps when a prophet emphatically encourage his flock to write blogs. Just sayin'.

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  19. Great post Justin... I love a good case study!

    I think a lot can be gleaned from the way churches do their marketing. I'm not surprised to see LDS fully immersed in seo and the comment by Rae Alton is right on point.

    During the Summer while I was mowing my lawn a couple of teenage girls promoting a Christian school were parading around the neighborhood. I'm not arguing if that was right or wrong but there was obviously no doubt who their target demographic was.

    These churches and religious organizations are on the cutting edge of marketing and promotion is all I'm sayin'.

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  20. Excellent post

    So really the SEO story of LDS is the story of a group that already had it made with a huge attentive following - all they had to do was tap into it intelligently. Not that I am knocking them for doing it - but as a lesson for the rest of us it is, as 'Page One SEO' suggests, - first build your following.

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    • Stu

      This comment is right on. The LDS church has the upper hand on say, the church of Scientology, as someone pointed out above because of the size of the following. In 2013, way harder than it was in 2010 when this is written, the bigger fish has the upper hand in white hat SEO. I'll keep doing PPC.

  21. Justin

    @Loui

    I agree that data for sources like Majestic and Linkscape can be influenced by changes in their crawl, or on-site changes. I think both of these service have improved the breath and depth of their crawl over the last few years.

    (There are also the differences between their crawls and the data they provide, but they're the best tools we have.)

    However, there isn't so much a "jump" in improvement, as a steady and consistent improvement over time. But just using competitive intelligence tools, my assumptions are limited. However, seeing forum posts and blog posts that correspond with the link growth, suggests, to me at least, that they are consistently building links.

    @Rae

    I agree on the "sorta" part. Some of the things I found made me chuckle a little.

    They have the benefit of having a devoted and passionate community to tap into, but there are a lot of large companies with passionate fans and they could leverage them in similar ways.

    @Dan

    Thanks and I agree. I think we see a lot interesting marketing techniques, but it's really interesting when you see it leveraged by religious organizations.

    The teenage girls story made me laugh.

    @David

    Thanks!

    Yeah, I don't think every business can leverage SEO in the same way, but there are a lot of organizations with strong communities and passionate followers/fans. We've worked with a few clients where this was the strategy. Give your fans the knowledge and means to promote you.

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  22. Having grown up LDS - none of those keywords they're ranking for surprise me. Each of those keywords directly reflect the gospel they teach, it's like the boys scouts ranking well for 'Be Prepared' - their motto.

    Keywords: Articles of Faith (a list of rules by which they live by), Friend ('The Friend' is a very popular magazine the church owns, geared toward their youth group) New Era (Another church magazine, but geared towards the elderly), New Testament (over and over the Book of Mormon is coined as "Another Testament of Jesus Christ, it's printed on the book itslef), Young Women (The program for women is actually called 'Young Womens').

    So - the ranking is not causation of SEO, but correlation of these terms being apart of the vernacular used by LDS, naturally becoming anchor text.

    Also, 65+ crowd recently started jumping on social media, which can explain the recent boost in links. Also, since the church is the 2nd fastest growing church, their youth are trained to spread the word, social media being an obvious choice.

    Show me where they rank well for 'Is there a god', 'What are we on earth for', 'how to make it to heaven', or 'what happens when I die' and I'll be impressed by some high converting traffic. ;)

    The words they currently ranking for, are vanity terms, and not of any true SEO value. I sincerely believe their SEO is taking credit for improvements in ranking and links that he has made no contribution to - because he doesn't have to.

    Great post! Thank you for sharing this.

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  23. John Keel

    Just goes to show how motivated cults are to grow their sheeple base.

    reply >
  24. Wow Justin -

    Awesome post. Thanks for bring this to our attention. SEO tidbits from LDS? Who woulda thought?!

    I wonder why they're not targetting the term: OMG

    :-)

    -Mark

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  25. Justin, this is a very powerful post. Great data mining! Thank you for sharing.

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  26. Thanks for the data Justin.

    And thanks to LDS for showing that steady and consisting link building is a solid and viable SEO strategy.

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  27. Good observation, Steve

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  28. Fascinating analysis. More so given that I am a Mormon. :)

    Some of the things you discuss are more understandable if you are more familiar with the church itself. For example the church's magazine for elementary aged kids is called "The Friend." When I was very young it was called "The Children's Friend" but has had the newer name for at least 35 years. (This magazine is reprinted on their website back to, I believe, 1971.)

    Another term, "young women" might seem an odd target, but that is actually the official name of the youth program for girls ages 12-17. (The boys of the same age are the "young men.")

    Well, after typing that all out, I see someone else has already addressed it. Uh, multiple times. Anyway, there are a number of terms (like "primary" -- the church's elementary age Sunday meeting, missions, relief society, quorum, ordinance, temple, genealogy) that will seem generic to those not LDS but are very much part of the Mormon lingo, purpose, and organization.

    Anyway very interesting work. I'll link to this from one of the LDS blogs I perm on. :)

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  29. Des

    Maybe we should create the church of seo!!!

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  30. Justin

    @Sean

    Wonderful comment!

    I agree that some of these terms are less of a surprised, because the names of elements associated with the church. The full name of the church includes both "Jesus" and "church", which has had a significant impact on those rankings as well.

    I think some of these single word head terms they rank for aren't really a "target" in link building anchor text, but their ability to rank for some of those terms isn't assumed for the LDS brand. The word "friend" is so generic, it's not the same as the motto of the boy scouts. They're ranking for a single word generic term, next to the likes of Wikipedia, Facebook, Friendster, and Friend Finder. I believe this ranking is earned from their link building effort. Not because they targeted "friend" with anchor text, but because their massive link authority makes them competitive with some of the largest sites on the internet.

    I think the growth of social media, and the growth of the church, can help explain the increased rate of growth seen over the last year in their link profile. I still believe there is a consistent effort to build links by the church's SEO team. A) It's nearly the same rate for 2 years B) The wiki page on LDS.org clearly shows they have link building strategies outline for other sites.

    I'm not sure I'd go as far as saying the terms they're ranking for are of no SEO value. I'd imagine church, Jesus Christ, church music, scriptures, new testament, and bible dictionary are all important terms for any religion.

    For the search "Jesus Christ" the LDS church controls 2 of the top 10 results and is the only official church website in the top 10. I think that's huge.

    However, I do think they're falling short on the on-site optimization. They're falling short on simple things like title tag optimization.

    Thanks for the comment! Nice hearing others views on it.

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  31. Justin

    @Steve

    First, wonderful avatar! :)

    I think the on-going consistent part is a huge take away. They didn't build that link empire overnight. They slowly and quietly worked at it for years it seems. Now they have a significant head start.

    @Alison

    Yeah, I agree the church's naming conventions and lingo have helped significantly.

    I think it's important to notice that many of those terms are generic to those who aren't LDS, which makes it even better to increase visibility to those who have no been exposed to LDS. I think it's great naming on part of LDS.

    I said a lot more in my comment to Sean.

    Thank for the comment, glad to see feedback from members of the church.

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  32. I must say, you have some nifty tools used up there, really impressive stats from the LDS. I'm actually studying their links at the moment, I was quite intrigued with how they have managed to acquire a direct link from Microsoft and how they have leveraged their community to build natural links for them.

    The natural link growth of their campaign from 2008 - 2010 may perhaps be the biggest factor on why they are ranking highly on non-branded terms. I have also read the blog post about building links (at ldsmediatalk) and it looks like they've regularly updated the content, since I still saw some timeless tips there.

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  33. Justin

    @Jason

    Thanks for the comment!

    The Microsoft.com link comes from a LDS church member who works for Microsoft. He links to LDS.org from his employee bio/profile.

    OSE exports give lots of great data, but I went ahead and pulled data using the SEOmoz API, which gave me a lot more information on their link profile.

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  34. Justin, I linked to your post from timesandseasons.org (a large LDS blog). I think your research on this is fascinating. Also the areas that are being neglected in the SEO department.

    One more thought on the "friend" keyword, I agree that it's such a generic term as to be helpful for exposure, that wasn't something that was planned -- at least not originally.

    One of the sites I own is LDS-centric and I can tell you that over the past eight years I have repeatedly linked the word "friend" to an article or issue of the magazine. I personally know of hundreds of other sites that have done the same. Since that is the entire title of the magazine, I'm not surprised that they rank so well. With 480 issues of The Friend online — each with dozens of free articles, activities, etc., to link to — it's been going on for years and years.

    In addition to the size, age, content, etc. of lds.org, the church owns three large universities (BYU, BYU-Idaho, and BYU-Hawaii). More power links there.

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  35. Aaron Luckie

    Great post Justin!

    I noticed straight away that they had some very impressive SERP's so instantly thought whether or not the website had a lot of history. Do you think that it's age is a key role in many of these high positions?

    It is great to see a website related to the church is working very much on an SEO strategy. A lot of case studies you see around are based on e-commerce websites so this is definitely a fresh of breath air!

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  36. Lynn

    I believe we should expect to see a consistent growth in links for just about any legitimate and popular site on the web. If you run similar reports in Majestic SEO for other authoritative sites like amazon.com, ebay.com, google.com, seomoz.org, or even other religious sites like catholic.org and scientology.org virtually all of them show similar link charts. It's important to remember that Majestic SEO and LinkScape are backlink DISCOVERY tools, not linkbuilding analytics. While spikes can indicate an increase in linkbuilding "efforts," they can also mean other things. To quote Rand Fishkin, correlation is not causation. This just seems like an excellent piece of link bait.

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  37. Hey Justin,

    Now that you've used the LDS Church's web sites to create some link bait for Distilled, how about sending over some link love in return? I bet it would be appreciated if you linked the terms employment, debt management, and food storage to the preferred landing pages on http://ProvidentLiving.org for those terms.

    By the way, here's an interesting opportunity to hear an apostle of Jesus Christ teach about link building: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwyFcOZ5EAU. Messages like Elder Nelson's in this case are the best explanation for the link profile you discussed. Mormon Church has an extremely important message that needs to be made available to everyone. The Internet is a perfect medium.

    Cheers.

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  38. Justin

    @Lynn
    I agree that any good authoritative site is likely to have consistent growth, especially those sites you mention. They have all been growing over the last few years.

    I looked at the MajesticSEO graphs for catholic.org and scientology.org and they look nothing like lds.org's discovery profile. They're both up and down and inconsistent. Not that either is wrong or bad. The lds.org profile appeared to be a consistent monthly rate.

    I've looked at a lot of legitimates site’s link profiles, and many don't have consistent growth like lds.org.

    And yes, these are just 3rd party competitive tools and I have no access to LDS's actual strategy. From an outside perspective, these are some of the best tools available to check stuff like this.

    And I agree, correlation isn't causation. To me though, the stacked examples of forum posts, wiki link building guides, blog post guides, and the link profile suggests there is a link building campaign. This was the opinion I made studying the information.

    And the post wasn't written as linkbait. I could have taken a more dramatic angle on this piece, but I was impressed by their work. It was already a topic getting buzz based off Avinash's comments. I just added to the conversation. I thought it might be a topic that gained interest. I don't think that takes away from the lessons learned from the time I put into researching.

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  39. Justin

    @Lisa

    Thanks for the comment.

    I linked to 3 (4 if you count subdomain) different LDS sites, for anyone concerned with juice.

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  40. Justin

    @Aaron

    Thanks for the comment!

    I think age could be playing a role. It seems to be registered since 1998. This means they've had a long time to build relationships and get links online. It's also a well-known church and is associated with a lot of authoritative sites like universities.

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  41. Justin

    @Alison

    I saw the link pop up in the WP Dashboard. Thanks for the link. :)

    I saw some really great and interesting university links and at the time wasn't sure how they got them. Sadly, I'm not familiar enough to know they owned three large universities. Those links make a lot more sense now.

    It's been nice learning so much about the church from the feedback I got on this post.

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  42. Justin, I would be interested in seeing the results of the same study of watchtower.org. They too have a large network of followers. Maybe there is something in religious SEO!?!?

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  43. Justin

    @Barry

    A quick look at WatchTower.org:

    401,886 links
    4,310 linking domains

    Not bad, but not nearly as many links as LDS.org

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  44. This is a great article and lots of good research. Just wanted to point out that terms like "Young Women" "Friend" etc. are common Mormon jargon for groups or publications within the Church and "non-branded" might not be an accurate term. LDS people searching for specific items on the Church website would use these search words intentionally.

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  45. That's incredible and truly inspirational. Thanks for such a good read.

    reply >
  46. Dan

    Not sure if anyone has noticed the trend of the number of comments from people saying "I am a Mormon.. "

    The LDS community in general is very active on the internet, in SEO, and the keywords they're ranking for all seem to be very likely to be the normal words linked to by community members as they're building their many, many sites.

    LDS members also are known for making their religion their hobbies. Thus a significant number of blogs and sites discussing Mormonism.

    I do agree with the overall effective "Branding" and know for a fact that the LDS church conducts significant research in relation to branding impact and most importantly, the ability to easily understand church concepts and messages.

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  47. Val

    Wow. I knew mormons were famous for their proselytism, didn't think SEO would be part of it though. I shouldn't be surprised if the other protestants and neoprotestants (possibly the traditional christian churches as well) started doing SEO on their own websites so they don't lose ground.

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  48. Nick

    I'm a little confused. Surely the steady rate of link acquisition could be strongly indicative of natrual link building?

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  49. This is a very comprehensive competitive link analysis system here. This has given me plenty of ideas to enhance what I'm using with the linkscape API.

    On thing to add would be when doing analysis of the links within OSE, would be to add to see if the page is indexed, as sometimes I have found with a page that has a PA of 20, may not be indexed within Google.

    Would be great to see the guys at SEOMOZ actually look at help automate the data set at your post here - http://moz.com/blog/guide-to-competitive-backlink-analysis

    Having that dataset automatically would be great, anyways I know not your guys thing.. good system here Justin :)

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  50. Wow. Very interesting post. Sort of funny... but also useful and informative. Thanks for posting this! :)

    reply >
  51. I really enjoyed your post. It really shows the success that can be achieved via SEO over time.

    Plus, I love the concept that "Jesus Loves SEO"

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  52. As with any large enterprise, religious or not, SEO is important. In order to get your message out, you must be found on the web. Being buried on page 200 will never get you noticed so anyone who is serious about their web presence must allocate funds for SEO.

    reply >
  53. Justin,

    This is a great post which nearly 2 years after its publication most arguments are still valid.

    Link building is tough and certain practices make it harder. I've been observing link building growth of one of my competitors through Majestic and OSE. Both tools were reporting no links whatsoever but their rankings would rise more and more. Eventually, I discovered that they had blocked in robot.txt all crawlers apart from Google. That means that OSE, Majestic and Yahoo weren't allowed to crawl the site and report backlinks.

    Is there any workaround in this case? How can I discover their links?

    reply >
  54. I don't know why, but I never thought of religious institutions having this kind of business acumen. Maybe one of their congregation is an SEO marketing expert. Good luck to them!

    reply >
  55. Very enjoyable post!

    Jesus loves SEO and the Mormons!

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  56. I should say that keyword research and Authority back links are two things which can make your way easy to achieve results.
    Thanks

    Saif

    reply >
  57. Any update on how they are doing after Panda and Penguin? I know this case study was done a while ago and I am wondering if what they did is still effective and working great for them?

    Thanks

    Manny

    reply >
  58. Informative case study. After the arrival of Panda and Penguin, SEO is far more complicated than what it used to be 2-3 years ago. Now there is no place for bad content, bad links and unnatural SEO activities. So making a successful SEO strategy is quite difficult now :-(

    reply >

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