What is Project Caleb?
Nearly every Adventist who has searched online for an Adventist-related keyword—especially an Ellen G. White-oriented search—has been dismayed by the number of negative websites that show up prominently in the search results. These negative websites are having a disastrous effect on every outreach program sponsored by an Adventist church, from evangelism to health and lifestyle programs, schools and Vacation Bible Schools..
According to Brian McMahon, a full-time evangelist for the North Pacific Union Conference
The Solution: Project Caleb
This is a daunting situation, but just as Caleb wasn’t afraid of the giants in Canaan, we also have faith that we can overcome this sizable challenge with positivity, faith, and diligence.
There is much we can do to overwhelm the misleading information with constructive, accurate content and active, uplifting online communication strategies. But this needs to be done correctly, with careful planning and execution. And it needs to be done soon.
In the business world, this would involve following a set of digital marketing best practices (such as Search Engine Optimization, or SEO) to mitigate the effects of derogatory information about a person, company, or organization.
In effect, we “overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:21)
How it works:
The goal of successful digital marketing is to “own the topic,” rather than debunking or rebutting the negative content
Successfully owning the topic will fill up the first few pages of search results with more credible, positive information, pushing the inaccurate webpages down in the search results as far as possible.
As a result, the effect of the negative sites is undermined, because less than 10% of all internet searches ever proceed past page 2 of the search results.
Applying effective best practices to resolve this issue is a complex and challenging process that will span several years of consistent work. SEO is a labor-intensive process, and the primary expense will be the many work hours necessary to apply the various strategies and tactics.
Websites with rich, helpful content
Through projects like AskAnAdventistFriend.com, we can exploit the weaknesses of the most prominent misleading sites and outrank them in search results, thus pushing them off of the front page.
Renovate and Optimize
Renovate and optimize existing webpages about Ellen White in order to restore positioning in search results and increase traffic. We are working with a growing list of Adventist organizations to make this happen.
Build Our Team
As we are able, the Center for Online Evangelism is expanding our current team, so we can increase our efforts in digital evangelism. This will yield speedier and more long-lasting results.