Searching for God. How to Optimize Your Search Results for Biblical Accuracy

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Searching for God. How to Optimize Your Search Results for Biblical Accuracy

If you’re like most people, you probably Google everything.  The best place to find sweet potato pancakes for example. Or what does it mean when your car makes a sound like… Or what’s Meghan Markle up to?

Every day there are about 3.5 billion online searches. 18 million of those searches have the word “God” in them.  And 1.5 million of those searches specifically ask questions about God like is God real? Is God mad at me? Why did God make me this way? What does God want me to do?

Search engine with the word ‘god’ typed in the search bar.

With millions of searches and 3.5 billion search results about God, how can you make sure the answers you’re getting are accurate?  

Before understanding that, you have to understand how search engines work and how they decide which results you see first.

Understanding Your Search Results Page

1. The top result on a search engine results page doesn’t always equal the truth. 

The Search Engine Result Page lists the most relevant answers to your inquiry, based on how well websites have optimized their websites to be found by the search engine.

In short, a computer is telling you that these are the best matches to your question because of an algorithm (or the set of rules followed by a computer).

2. Your location and search history influences what shows up on your search results page. 

Look at this example of a search for God’s purpose. One searcher originated from Toronto, Canada and the other searcher from San Francisco, California.

In short, a user’s search history and location will impact what search results they see.  

3. The featured content is determined randomly.

You know that featured snippets, or highlighted information that appears on the top of the page?  

The top half of a search engine results page with the phrase ‘who wrote the bible’ typed into the search bar.

35% more people click on the featured snippets because it’s the first thing they see and read. Chances are, you’ve done the same.

But how is that snippet determined? According to Alexa, an online analytics tool, no one knows. 

“Google chooses which results end up as featured snippets, and they don’t explicitly say how to get your pages to appear as these rich results.”

So what do you do? Is there a checklist to help you navigate through millions of results?

  1. What is their source? When you’re asking a question about God, don’t you want your answer to come from His book?  If the results are coming from a different book, find out why. 
  2. Who is behind the answer? Is it a particular Church or organization? Click on their beliefs page to examine their basic doctrines.  Are they all based on the Bible?
  3. Do they believe Jesus is God?  While the Trinity is a common belief among Christian- professing religions, did you know that the Trinity isn’t mentioned in the Bible? It’s a teaching that wasn’t adopted by the Roman Catholic Church until the council of Nicea in 325 AD.  Here’s Google’s result about the Trinity, by the way. 
The first result from a search engine results page with the phrase ‘Is there a trinity’ typed into the search bar.

So, how do you learn the truth about God?

A bible on top of a table with it open and a woman flipping through the pages.

The web is a great resource to have.  But remember: not everything online is true.  So, don’t go at it alone. You’ve already taken your first step by trying to find the answer to your questions, so why not make sure the answers you’re getting are accurate? 

Need help navigating through it all, set up some one-on-one time to get your Biblical questions answered.  

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