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

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

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

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

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

However online, it’s been shrouded in controversy, and search algorithms might be fulfilling good-faith reviews about the program from researchers and educators– as some working archeologists have deemed the show dubious pseudoscience at finest, and unsafe false information at worst.

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

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

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

But in this case, I have actually seen support for educators and scientists who have devoted to pushing back on popular pseudoscience.

Creators Rebutting “Ancient Apocalypse” Get An Increase From SEO

I first learned of the debate from Buy YouTube Subscribers creator “History With Kayleigh,” who, while not an academic or recognized archaeologist, creates instructional videos about ancient history and historical sites.

She connected with Tweets from researchers who had actually reacted and “chose to attempt and compose a reasonable rebuttal to the program,” as she informed me.

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

Screenshot from Buy YouTube Subscribers, December

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

. Kayleigh launched a 2nd video, and the very first” Ancient Armageddon: Truth Or Fiction?” had already grown to 104,000 views

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

small Buy YouTube Subscribers channel about archaeology in his downtime, 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, showing that

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

the video was still around 5,000 views. For that specific 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”Archeology 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 “Archeology Tube” Buy YouTube Subscribers channel, November 2022

The following screenshot is the overall channel information for comparison. Screenshot of internal analytics of the “Archeology Tube” Buy YouTube Subscribers channel, November

2022 He also shared the search terms the video was performing finest for within Buy YouTube Subscribers search. Screenshot of internal analytics of the “Archeology 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 acquires most 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 getting the story

and filling up online search engine results pages(SERPs ). Screenshot of internal analytics of the”Archeology Tube”Buy YouTube Subscribers channel, November 2022 The second video has hugely different data, being pressed mostly by Buy YouTube Subscribers’s browse functions like recommended videos. Screenshot of internal analytics of the “Archeology Tube” Buy YouTube Subscribers channel, November 2022

This time, Buy YouTube Subscribers appears to have acknowledged the interest in a trending topic and pushed the video accordingly. In the very first video that he made about”Ancient Archaeology, “Dr. Farley attended to Hancock straight with a review focusing on the relationship between the theories postured in the show, and white supremacy.

In the second video, Dr. Farley focused on unmasking the specific fallacies in the program.

He told me, “There is a MARKED distinction in the reactions to the two videos. In video # 1, I point out white supremacy and the history of Atlantean myths with bigotry. That video has … hundreds of disparaging comments [that] are misogynistic, racist, and homophobic.

The 2nd video likewise has some remarks like this, but much more favorable comments or positive criticisms. This video simply spoke straight to some of the fallacies in the program however does not straight resolve bigotry or white supremacy.”

Even with the negative response, the fact stays that people watched and engaged with the video, as this screenshot of the video’s engagement stats reveals.

Screenshot of internal analytics of the”Archeology Tube”Buy YouTube Subscribers channel, November 2022 One could argue that this is a fluke– and that these relatively successful performance metrics are just about profiting from a trending keyword.

However Buy YouTube Subscribers algorithms work differently from Google Search.

Buy YouTube Subscribers uses metadata about videos to approximate importance, but it also utilizes user engagement signals such as watch time to check the significance of videos to particular queries. Buy YouTube Subscribers’s top ranking aspect is viewer complete satisfaction.

“History with Kayleigh” has a big following currently that likely provided her videos a boost. However Dr. Farley doesn’t have a large following, and the reach of his videos boils down to organic discovery.

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

Other scientists, with small and large followings, have also seen uncommonly high traffic about this topic on other platforms.

Dr. Flint Dibble, an archaeologist at Cardiff University, wrote a defense for The Discussion and kept in mind the popularity of the piece on Buy Twitter Verification:

Screenshot from Buy Twitter Verification, November 2022

I connected to Dr. Dibble for his point of view. He mentioned: “I have actually gotten a wide range of actions to my thread. Plenty of abuse, and lots of appreciation. Numerous people clearly discovered it while searching for more info on the program.

Some, particularly within the very first week of release, mentioned they were browsing Buy Twitter Verification to discover reactions to it either before seeing or mid-watch.

Individuals who pointed out discovering the thread through a search were all thankful for rapidly getting a clearer context for the program.”

He shared an example of a Buy Twitter Verification user who went looking for information about the program while they were enjoying it and appreciated the critique he published on the platform:

Screenshot from Buy Twitter Verification, December 2022

Dr. Andre Costopoulos, an archaeologist at the University Of Alberta, discussed the show on his individual WordPress blog site and shared his blog analytics with me in late November.

The material he discussed “Ancient Armageddon” became the best carrying out on his website in a matter of days, with Google Search comprising the clear majority of traffic.

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

Total, this isn’t a substantial quantity of traffic. What’s intriguing here is how the material about the show compares to other material by this developer, particularly because the site is reasonably small.

Dr. Costopoulos thinks that scientists can reach audiences starving for details if they learn the tools.

“Scientists can utilize these tools simply as well as our pseudo-alters,” he told me, “and typically to better impact, since we really have evidence to support our claims.”

How SEO Can Be Utilized To Spread Misinformation

Search algorithms are hotbeds of false information.

Dissemination of conspiracies and misinformation has actually been a hot subject on several platforms, from Buy YouTube Subscribers to Buy Facebook Verification.

Google has been reckoning with misinformation and how best to resolve it for many years.

People who peddle conspiracy theories and pseudoscience know this. They’re expert online marketers and storytellers, and they’re proficient at SEO.

That can make it a lot more difficult to communicate good science than false information. Scientists have demanding jobs outside of marketing and publishing, and their conclusions are often difficult to interact efficiently.

They’re not trained to do it, and academia is sluggish to adjust to digital trends.

That paves the way for a conspiracy theory to remove with little bit more than a great story and excellent marketing.

Dr. Farley stated: “By and large, I think academics have no idea how to do SEO (I’m just stumbling around in the dark myself), and misinformation folks are much, much better at it. Academics, honestly, do not have the time to learn this things.

It would be actually cool if our universities would help … but I’ve discovered the media departments at unis are very old school. If I brought this to them, they ‘d pitch a media declaration to the regional paper.

Our media department is excellent and has great intents, however by and large, they’re early in the game on using social networks as a media tool.”

So we have a conundrum where scientists, who aren’t always trained in communications and marketing, face off against professional marketers of concepts. And they’re doing it with personal enthusiasm tasks on top of their existing jobs.

When it concerns organic reach, scientists need allies.

Is Review Of “Ancient Armageddon” Having An Impact?

The outcomes do not seem 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 certain my VPN was turned on (United States place), then looked for [ancient apocalypse]

The outcomes here are a bit of a mixed bag. The very first outcome is just a link to the program. That’s to be expected.

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

The 3rd video outcome has much less views however reviews the program.

We can also see, on the info panel, that the critiques from the scientific neighborhood may not be having an extensive impact. Audiences examine the show well.

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

These are primarily reviews of the show released on big media platforms. Journalists are helping researchers get their message out.

I signed in again a couple of days later, utilizing an incognito visitor Chrome internet browser with my VPN turned on (United States area). There was a fascinating change in the SERP:

It appears like Google detected the debate and the newsworthiness of the search. The video outcomes were gone, replaced by a “Leading Stories” search feature that appears above the natural results.

So, what’s the takeaway here?

Archaeologists Saw A Boost 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 show is popular, and the show’s advocates have a lot of traction too.

The restricted impact of this collective effort demonstrates the difficulties dealing with science communicators. The impact of their critique appears to be a drop in the container compared to countless individuals who enjoyed the program.

However we should not discount the success of these researchers and teachers, either.

They’re building communities, providing info for individuals who search for it, and altering minds. When you look closely, you can plainly browse algorithms rewarding these creators for their efforts.

Interested users do discover legitimate scientific research when they look into the series. The content is reaching people, and it’s inspiring them to analyze the show seriously.

This is encouraging news for the total quality of search.

I think marketers can help here.

SEO professionals have the knowledge and resources to assist amplify these messages. Possibly we might consider it a little bit of search community service.

More resources:

Featured Image: Elnur/Best SMM Panel