In 2016, WebStrategies acquired Impression Marketing. One of Impression’s partners, Anne Moss, left the agency world following the suicide of her son the prior year.
Since departing the marketing world, Anne Moss founded Beacon Tree, a non-profit focused on mental health. She can also be found blogging on Emotionally Naked, where she documents her journey dealing with the grief of losing a child to suicide. In addition to documenting that journey, Anne Moss has written several how-to posts in attempt to intercept those researching methods for killing themselves.
One of her most popular posts, “How to Hang Yourself” has made it onto the first page of Google for the search “how to hang yourself.”
Anne Moss says countless people have reached out thanking her for saving her life as a result of this post.
Beyond the tremendous impact this post has had, I’m fascinated in the story as an SEO. Anne Moss has effectively hijacked the search results in a very clever and creative way to help others.
SEOs like to say that their work helps others. But that help is usually limited to basic information or commerce. Rarely does the work we do impact whether someone lives or dies.
Living in our SEO bubble, we take for granted the power of the Google search result page. We think about getting rankings for our clients so they can drive qualified traffic and sell more stuff. In our spare time, we use it to find recipes, research new hobbies, or answer questions about that actor from that movie with the thing.
But for others, it’s one of the last things they ever do.
And the information is there. For everyone. For free. In seconds.
As a parent, that’s terrifying.
So I applaud the approach Anne Moss is doing to intercept someone in their greatest moment of need. I want others to find ways of doing the same. I want her post to be the first thing someone sees after they turn to Google.
If this resonated with you, I encourage you to link to her post (not this one, but hers) and share the story.