“Ancient Armageddon”: How SEO Is Helping Archaeologists Debunk Conspiracy Theories

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The viewpoints expressed within this story are entirely the author’s and do not reflect the viewpoints and beliefs of Online search engine Journal or its affiliates.

You may have become aware of “Ancient Apocalypse”, a series in which host Graham Hancock proposes questionable theories about the origins of ancient civilizations.

It spent a week trending in the global leading 10 on Netflix, accruing around 24,620,000 watch hours in between November 14th and November 20th, 2022.

Netflix provides authority to the show by classifying it as a “docuseries,” and IMDB categorizes it as a “documentary” and “history.”

However online, it’s been shrouded in controversy, and search algorithms may be fulfilling good-faith reviews about the program from researchers and teachers– as some working archaeologists have deemed the show unsubstantiated pseudoscience at best, and hazardous false information at worst.

The Society For American Archaeology wrote a letter to Netflix asking it to reclassify and contextualize the show, pointing out the host’s “aggressive rhetoric,” the program’s “false claims,” and the associations that the theories presented have with “racist, white supremacist ideologies.”

However this is a story about the function SEO plays in the controversy– how scientists and science communicators provide their critiques of the program, and how audiences discover them.

Search algorithms get a great deal of critiques for how they can be utilized to spread out misinformation.

But in this case, I’ve seen assistance for teachers and scientists who have dedicated to pressing back on popular pseudoscience.

Developers Rebutting “Ancient Armageddon” Get An Increase From SEO

I first found out of the debate from Buy YouTube Subscribers developer “History With Kayleigh,” who, while not a scholastic or recognized archaeologist, produces educational videos about ancient history and historical sites.

She communicated with Tweets from scientists who had reacted and “decided to try and write a fair counterclaim to the show,” as she informed me.

Kayleigh’s video about “Ancient Armageddon” isn’t the best-performing video on her channel. Still, it was definitely carrying out above the average of her recent releases in a brief quantity of time, at 67,000 views on December 1st.

Screenshot from Buy YouTube Subscribers, December

2022 However then, I took another screenshot of the channel after the weekend, on December 5th

. Kayleigh released a 2nd video, and the very first” Ancient Apocalypse: Reality Or Fiction?” had actually currently grown to 104,000 views

. Screenshot from Buy YouTube Subscribers, December 2022 Kayleigh wasn’t the only creator to release content about the Netflix series. Dr. Expense Farley, an archaeologist and associate teacher at Southern Connecticut State University who runs a

little Buy YouTube Subscribers channel about archaeology in his free time, made one of the earliest Buy YouTube Subscribers videos critiquing Hancock and the show. And while his reach is much smaller sized, his videos about”Ancient Armageddon” took off. Screenshot from Buy YouTube Subscribers, December 2022 Screenshot from Buy YouTube Subscribers, December 2022 Dr. Farley shared screenshots of his Buy YouTube Subscribers analytics, demonstrating that

his very first video about Graham Hancock drew more traffic than usual from Google searches. The below screenshots are from November 22nd, when

the video was still around 5,000 views. For that particular video, the” external”traffic source was around 28 %, compared to his channel average of around 10%. A 3rd of that external traffic was from Google.

Screenshot of internal analytics of the”Archaeology Tube” Buy YouTube Subscribers channel, November 2022< img src= "https://cdn.searchenginejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/unnamed-639a5869b100b-sej.png"alt=" A screenshot of YouTube channel"Archaeology Tube"internal analytics"/ > Screenshot of internal analytics of the “Archaeology Tube” Buy YouTube Subscribers channel, November 2022

The following screenshot is the overall channel data for contrast. Screenshot of internal analytics of the “Archaeology Tube” Buy YouTube Subscribers channel, November

2022 He likewise shared the search terms the video was carrying out finest for within Buy YouTube Subscribers search. Screenshot of internal analytics of the “Archaeology Tube “Buy YouTube Subscribers channel, November 2022 I checked in again with his channel on December 5th. Screenshot from Buy YouTube Subscribers, December 2022 This first video still gains the majority of its

traffic from search terms. External views on it were about 11% lower on December 5th than they were on November 22nd. This makes sense with publications picking up the story

and filling search engine results pages(SERPs ). Screenshot of internal analytics of the”Archaeology Tube”Buy YouTube Subscribers channel, November 2022 The second video has extremely different statistics, being pressed mainly by Buy YouTube Subscribers’s browse features like recommended videos. Screenshot of internal analytics of the “Archaeology Tube” Buy YouTube Subscribers channel, November 2022

This time, Buy YouTube Subscribers seems to have recognized the interest in a trending topic and pressed the video accordingly. In the very first video that he made about”Ancient Armageddon,”Dr. Farley attended to Hancock straight with a review concentrating on the relationship in between the theories postured in the program, and white supremacy.

In the 2nd video, Dr. Farley concentrated on exposing the specific falsehoods in the show.

He informed me, “There is a MARKED distinction in the responses to the two videos. In video # 1, I discuss white supremacy and the history of Atlantean myths with racism. That video has … hundreds of disparaging remarks [that] are misogynistic, racist, and homophobic.

The second video likewise has some remarks like this, however many more positive remarks or constructive criticisms. This video just spoke straight to a few of the falsehoods in the program but does not straight address racism or white supremacy.”

Even with the unfavorable reaction, the reality stays that individuals seen and engaged with the video, as this screenshot of the video’s engagement data shows.

Screenshot of internal analytics of the”Archaeology Tube” Buy YouTube Subscribers channel, November 2022< img src= "https://cdn.searchenginejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/unnamed-4-639a5a656371e-sej.png"alt=" A screenshot of YouTube channel "Archaeology Tube"internal analytics"/ > One might argue that this is a fluke– which these apparently effective performance metrics are merely about taking advantage of a trending keyword.

However Buy YouTube Subscribers algorithms work in a different way from Google Browse.

Buy YouTube Subscribers uses metadata about videos to approximate significance, however it also uses user engagement signals such as watch time to test the significance of videos to particular queries. Buy YouTube Subscribers’s top ranking factor is audience satisfaction.

“History with Kayleigh” has a large following currently that likely gave her videos an increase. But Dr. Farley does not have a big following, and the reach of his videos boils down to natural discovery.

People Search For Info About “Ancient Apocalypse” And Discover Review

Other scientists, with little and big followings, have actually also seen unusually high traffic about this subject on other platforms.

Dr. Flint Dibble, an archaeologist at Cardiff University, wrote a rebuttal for The Conversation and noted the popularity of the piece on Twitter:

Screenshot from Twitter, November 2022

I connected to Dr. Dibble for his point of view. He stated: “I’ve gotten a wide variety of reactions to my thread. A lot of abuse, and plenty of appreciation. Numerous people clearly found it while looking for more info on the program.

Some, especially within the very first week of release, mentioned they were searching Twitter to discover responses to it either prior to watching or mid-watch.

Individuals who discussed discovering the thread through a search were all happy for rapidly getting a clearer context for the show.”

He shared an example of a Twitter user who went looking for info about the show while they were watching it and valued the review he published on the platform:

Screenshot from Twitter, December 2022

Dr. Andre Costopoulos, an archaeologist at the University Of Alberta, wrote about the program on his personal WordPress blog site and shared his blog site analytics with me in late November.

The material he blogged about “Ancient Armageddon” became the best performing on his site in a matter of days, with Google Search making up the clear majority of traffic.

Screenshot of internal analytics from archeothoughts.wordpress.com, November 2022

Overall, this isn’t a huge quantity of traffic. What’s fascinating here is how the content about the program compares to other content by this developer, particularly since the site is fairly small.

Dr. Costopoulos thinks that scientists can reach audiences hungry for info if they find out the tools.

“Researchers can utilize these tools just as well as our pseudo-alters,” he told me, “and often to better result, because we actually have proof to back up our claims.”

How SEO Can Be Utilized To Spread Misinformation

Browse algorithms are hotbeds of false information.

Dissemination of conspiracies and false information has actually been a hot subject on various platforms, from Buy YouTube Subscribers to Buy Facebook Verification Badge.

Google has actually been considering false information and how best to fix it for years.

Individuals who pitch conspiracy theories and pseudoscience know this. They’re professional marketers and storytellers, and they’re proficient at SEO.

That can make it much more challenging to communicate great science than false information. Scientists have requiring jobs beyond marketing and publishing, and their conclusions are often hard to communicate efficiently.

They’re not trained to do it, and academia is slow to adjust to digital patterns.

That leads the way for a conspiracy theory to take off with bit more than a great story and great marketing.

Dr. Farley said: “By and big, I think academics have no concept how to do SEO (I’m just stumbling around in the dark myself), and false information folks are much, better at it. Academics, frankly, do not have the time to discover this things.

It would be actually cool if our universities would assist … but I have actually found the media departments at unis are very old school. If I brought this to them, they ‘d pitch a media statement to the local newspaper.

Our media department is terrific and has terrific intents, but by and large, they’re early in the game on utilizing social networks as a media tool.”

So we have a problem where researchers, who aren’t always trained in communications and marketing, take on against professional marketers of ideas. And they’re doing it with individual enthusiasm projects on top of their existing tasks.

When it pertains to natural reach, scientists need allies.

Is Critique Of “Ancient Apocalypse” Having An Effect?

The outcomes don’t appear as motivating when you zoom out and take a look at the SERPs for “Ancient Armageddon.”

I opened an incognito window in Chrome and made sure my VPN was switched on (United States area), then searched for [ancient armageddon]

The results here are a little a mixed bag. The first outcome is just a link to the show. That’s to be expected.

Right away listed below are the video results. The second video result appears to support the show. It had around 60,000 views when I took the screenshot. That’s a considerable amount of reach compared to the examples we looked at above.

The 3rd video outcome has much fewer views however critiques the show.

We can also see, on the information panel, that the critiques from the scientific community may not be having a widespread effect. Audiences examine the program well.

Beneath the video results, we do see critiques from The Guardian and Slate. Let’s flip over to the news results.

These are primarily reviews of the program published on large media platforms. Journalists are assisting researchers get their message out.

I signed in again a couple of days later, using an anonymous visitor Chrome web browser with my VPN switched on (United States place). There was an interesting modification in the SERP:

It looks like Google detected the controversy and the newsworthiness of the search. The video outcomes were gone, replaced by a “Top Stories” search feature that appears above the organic outcomes.

So, what’s the takeaway here?

Archaeologists Saw An Increase From SEO With Limited, But Important, Effect

Archaeologists did see a boost from SEO on this subject. But we can see from Google results that the program is popular, and the show’s fans have a great deal of traction too.

The limited impact of this cumulative effort demonstrates the hurdles dealing with science communicators. The effect of their critique seems to be a drop in the container compared to countless people who viewed the program.

But we should not discount the success of these scientists and educators, either.

They’re constructing neighborhoods, supplying details for people who search for it, and changing minds. When you look closely, you can clearly search algorithms rewarding these developers for their efforts.

Interested users do find legitimate scientific research study when they look into the series. The content is reaching people, and it’s inspiring them to examine the program seriously.

This is encouraging news for the general quality of search.

I believe online marketers can help here.

SEO experts have the knowledge and resources to help amplify these messages. Perhaps we could consider it a bit of search social work.

More resources:

Included Image: Elnur/SMM Panel