Internet evangelism: Christians vs. atheists

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The article Internet atheism: The thrill is gone! points out that internet atheism has been in a significant slump since 2011. See also: Internet atheism web traffic volume

The Christian internet evangelism organization Global Media Outreach indicated that as of September 2019 over 1,900,000,000 "gospel visits" have occured via their websites.[1] Global Media Outreach works with many Christians around the world (see: Global Christianity).

The Christian internet evangelism] organization Network211 indicates that as of September 2019, over 37,000,000 web visits have occured on their websites.[2] Network211 works with many Christians/churches throughout the world.

In 2022, the Billy Graham Evangelism Association announced:

Launched in 2012, Search for Jesus impacts website users with the truth of the Gospel and relies on a network of over 1,400 trained volunteers who interact with users and answer live questions. With a mission to reach those hurting and in need, Search for Jesus utilizes the accessibility of the internet to reach places otherwise closed to the Gospel.

Using these digital tools, more than 300 million people have indicated a decision for Christ and received follow-up through the internet ministry. To date, the PeaceWithGod.net websites have welcomed over 100 million online users. With messages in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Arabic, American Sign Language, and Russian, Search for Jesus has been able to expand globally and cross language and accessibility barriers.

“This is significant because we’re following Billy Graham’s legacy of spreading the Gospel across the globe using every opportunity we have. The average person spends nearly seven hours a day on the internet, so we want to meet these people where they are,” said Mark Appleton, director of internet evangelism for BGEA, in a press release. “Search for Jesus has given us the chance to spread the Gospel like never before.”[3]

The Christian Post states:

Online evangelism is producing real disciples for Christ, according to a recent study.

Over half of those who made a decision for Jesus over the Internet have subsequently shared their faith with others, Global Media Outreach's study reveals.

Additionally, 34 percent read their Bibles daily and nearly half pray for at least 10 minutes a day...

The study, called the Christian Growth Index, measured the responses of more than 100,000 people from around the world...

Fifty-one percent of those surveyed said they shared their faith three times or more and 37 percent said they shared their faith at least once or twice.

Global Media Outreach is a global ministry that presents the Gospel online through websites such as WhoisJesus-Really.com and GrowinginChrist.com. There are more than 5,500 trained online missionaries worldwide who respond to questions asked by seekers through emails.[4]

There are other significant Christian internet evangelism efforts as well. For example, the Billy Graham Association is also active in internet evangelism.[5]

Internet atheism:

See also: Internet atheism

The article Internet atheism: The thrill is gone! points out that internet atheism has been in a significant slump since 2008. See: Internet atheism web traffic volume

Contents

Large list of atheist websites that have lost web traffic with supporting data

Google trends research suggesting that internet atheism preaches to the atheist choir and is not effective at atheist evangelism

See also: Atheist activist and Atheism and groupthink

The abstract for the journal article Who is Not Afraid of Richard Dawkins? Using Google Trends to Assess the Reach of Influential Atheists across Canadian Secular Groups published in the journal Studies in Religion/Sciences Religieuses indicates:

Google Trends data on search volumes of high profile atheist public figures are used to assess their relative reach among different types of seculars in Canada. The user query data mined from Google Trends are complemented with an extensive set of information extracted from the Canadian General Social Surveys of 2005 to 2016. The analysis shows that the reach of high profile atheists is positively correlated with the presence of strictly-seculars, a proxy for the atheists. The investigation produces no statistically significant correlation between the presence of other types of seculars, namely the unchurched believers and the nominal affiliates, and the search volumes for high profile atheists. This exploratory finding suggests that the influential atheists likely “preach to the choir,” catering to like-minded individuals, at the exclusion of those with relatively close but differing views on religion and spirituality.[6]

Google trends research suggesting that internet atheism preaches to the atheist choir and is not effective at atheist evangelism

See also: Atheist activist and Atheism and groupthink

The abstract for the journal article Who is Not Afraid of Richard Dawkins? Using Google Trends to Assess the Reach of Influential Atheists across Canadian Secular Groups published in the journal Studies in Religion/Sciences Religieuses indicates:

Google Trends data on search volumes of high profile atheist public figures are used to assess their relative reach among different types of seculars in Canada. The user query data mined from Google Trends are complemented with an extensive set of information extracted from the Canadian General Social Surveys of 2005 to 2016. The analysis shows that the reach of high profile atheists is positively correlated with the presence of strictly-seculars, a proxy for the atheists. The investigation produces no statistically significant correlation between the presence of other types of seculars, namely the unchurched believers and the nominal affiliates, and the search volumes for high profile atheists. This exploratory finding suggests that the influential atheists likely “preach to the choir,” catering to like-minded individuals, at the exclusion of those with relatively close but differing views on religion and spirituality.[7]

Internet outreach and the Matthew effect: Atheist websites vs. religious websites

See also: Internet outreach and the Matthew effect: Atheist websites vs. religious websites

Study.com defines the Matthew effect thusly: "The Matthew Effect is a term that describes the concept in society of accumulated advantage. It argues that people who start from a place of advantage, like intelligence, fame, wealth, or skill, will have the opportunity to accrue more of that advantage compared to others. The Matthew Effect is often thought of by the phrase, "the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer.""[8] The Matthew effect's etymology can be traced to Gospel of Matthew which declares Jesus as saying: "For to every one who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away." (Matthew 25:29, RSV).

Because the religious population is larger than the atheist/agnostic populations and raises more money for web marketing budgets than the atheist/agnostic populations, they greatly outperform atheist websites in terms of web traffic. In addition, Google tends to rank large websites with a lot of traffic higher at Google for various search terms - especially high volume searches. So large Christian websites with a lot of web traffic have a big competitive advantage over atheist websites. Furthermore, religious groups often have more evangelistic zeal and also have more international cooperation in terms of web outreach efforts.

As time has progressed the gap between the effectiveness of religious websites vs. atheist websites in terms of reaching larger audiences has widened and will most likely widen further. For example, Christian websites are greatly outperforming atheist websites in terms of their respective web outreaches.

For more information, please see: Internet outreach and the Matthew effect: Atheist websites vs. religious websites.

Various Christian websites with a lot of web traffic

Biblegateway.com and Google referral traffic

During the coronavirus pandemic, the multilingual website Biblegateway.com experienced an increase in Google referral traffic from the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic to July 30, 2022 according to the data from the leading web marketing company SEMRush.com.
Large multilingual websites with a lot of traffic from around the world such as Biblegateway.com have a large amount of relevant inbound links from around the world.

Christianity.com and Google referral traffic

During the coronavirus pandemic, the website Christianity.com had an increase in Google referral traffic from the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic to July 30, 2022 according to the data from the leading web marketing company SEMRush.com.

The amount of Google referral traffic to Christianity.com has gone significanly since February 2016 according to the leading web marketing website SEMRush and the website's Google referral traffic increased during the pandemic. SEMRush says the website is getting about 6,250,000 monthly referral visits from Google in July 2022.

Got Questions Ministries and Google referral traffic

See also: Got Questions Ministries

In December of 2020, the Christian internet ministry Got Questions Ministries saw a very large increase in its Google referral traffic according to the leading web marketing website SEMRush.

According to the article 1,000+ Winners and Losers of the December 2020 Google Core Algorithm Update the website Gotquestions.org saw the 7th biggest increase in Google referral traffic as far as the 50 domains that saw the greatest percent gain in Google visibility.[9]

Google uses over 200 factors to evaluate the quality and the relevance of a website to various topics.
Large multilingual websites with a lot of Google referral traffic from around the world such as Gotquestions.org have a large amount of relevant inbound links from around the world.

Poor international cooperation among atheists

See also: Atheism and international cooperation among atheists

No atheist organizations with very strong web presences that are working with atheists and atheist organizations around the world

In recent years, international cooperation among atheists has been low (see: Atheism and international cooperation among atheists). There are no atheist organizations with very strong web presences that are working with atheists and atheist organizations around the world.

Google trends graphs: Search of atheism/agnosticism related terms

See also: Google trends - Atheism and agnosticism terms

2019 Google trends graphs for the terms: Atheism, atheist, Richard Dawkins, agnostic and agnosticism

2019 Google trends world graphs

September 12, 2019: Google world trends graphs for the terms atheism, atheist, Richard Dawkins, agnostic and agnosticism.

2019 Google trends USA graphs

September 12, 2019: Google USA trends data for the terms atheism, atheist, Richard Dawkins, agnostic and agnosticism.


Post sexual harassment allegations against Lawrence Krauss and David Silverman, searches for atheism related topics have dropped markedly

See also: Post sexual harassment allegations against Lawrence Krauss and David Silverman, searches for atheism related topics have dropped markedly

Post sexual harassment allegations against Lawrence Krauss and David Silverman, searches for atheism related topics have dropped markedly around in the world.

For more information, please see: Post sexual harassment allegations against Lawrence Krauss and David Silverman, searches for atheism related topics have dropped markedly and A shambolic atheist community faces some tough choices

Internet atheism and the coronavirus pandemic

Electron microscope scan of a coronavirus, so-called due to the crown-like filaments on the surface.

See: Atheism and the coronavirus pandemic

See also: Internet atheism and the coronavirus pandemic

Several atheist websites did very poorly during the coronavirus pandemic and lost a large amount of their traffic since the early part of 2020 (See: Internet atheism and the coronavirus pandemic).

Historically, religiosity increases during pandemics. Pew Research found people's religious faith grew during the pandemic - especially in the United States.[10] Nearly three-in-ten U.S. adults say the outbreak has boosted their faith; about four-in-ten say it has tightened family bonds.[11]

In addition, many atheist organizations have significant difficulty in getting their fellow atheist to financially support them (see: Atheist organizations and fundraising), so their web marketing budgets could have been low during the pandemic. In addition, many atheist organizations have poor fiscal management so they may not have had reserves built up before the pandemic (see: Atheist organizations and financial mismanagement).

On the other hand, there were major Christian websites that saw their web traffic substantially grow during the coronavirus pandemic (See: Christian websites and the coronavirus pandemic).

The atheist websites might never gain that traffic back again as the number of atheists in the world is expected to drop before mid-2022 according to the scholars at the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.[12] Currently, the global atheist population is losing market share in terms of the world's population (see: Global atheism statistics).

RationalWiki.org

RationalWiki.org is a politically left leaning, wiki website that skews towards atheism/agnosticism in terms of its worldview. See also: RationalWiki and web traffic

RationalWiki and loss of Google referral web traffic since 2013

See also: Internet atheism

SEMRush.com data on RationalWiki and Google referral traffic

Since October 2019, the RationalWiki website lost a huge amount of its Google referral traffic according to the leading web marketing company SEMRush.

Google uses over 200 factors to evaluate the quality and the relevance of a website to various topics.
From June 5, 2022 to November 5, 2022, the RationalWiki website lost a major amount of its Google referral traffic according to the leading web marketing company SEMRush. Specifically, on June 5, 2022 the RationalWiki website was receiving 369,435 monthly visits in Google referral traffic whereas by November 5, 2022 RationalWiki website was merely receiving 137,629 monthly visits in Google referral traffic according to SEMRush.

Google uses over 200 factors to evaluate the quality and the relevance of a website to various topics.

Ahrefs.com data on RationalWiki and Google referral traffic

See also: Internet atheism and the coronavirus pandemic

According to the leading web marketing website Ahrefs.com, the website RationalWiki lost a large amount of Google referral traffic from August 10, 2022 to October 3, 2022. Google referral traffic is commonly referred to as organic traffic by web marketing professionals.

Specifically, according to Ahrefs.com, on August 10, 2022, the website RationalWiki was receiving 240,713 monthly referral web visits by Google. By October 3, 2022, RationalWiki.org was merely receiving 131,083 monthly referral web visits by Google.

Google uses over 200 factors to evaluate the quality and the relevance of a website to various topics.

Frethoughtblogs

See also: Freethought Blogs and Internet atheism

Freethought Blogs is a spinoff of ScienceBlogs launched by PZ Myers and Ed Brayton.

Web traffic of Freethought Blogs dramatically declines from June 2019 to September 2019

The web traffic of Freethought Blogs saw a dramatic decline from June 2019 to September 2019 according to the web traffic tracking company Alexa.

On June 23, 2019, Freethought Blogs was the 90,953th most popular website in the world according to Alexa, but by September 23, 2019 Freethought Blogs was merely the 170,112th most popular website in the world according to Alexa.

Web traffic of Freethought Blogs: July 2015 to March 2019

Freethought Blogs is a spinoff of ScienceBlogs launched by PZ Myers and Ed Brayton.

Alexa is a web traffic tracking company. In 2015 and 2016, Freethought Blogs saw a large decrease in its Alexa ranking.
Freethought Blogs fell sharply in its Alexa ranking for much of the latter part of 2016
.
In May 2017, according to Alexa, Frrethoughtblogs continued to lose global market share.
According to Alexa, on March 12, 2019, Freethoughtblogs was the 90,419th most popular website in the world.

Notes