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

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The viewpoints expressed within this story are exclusively the author’s and do not reflect the opinions and beliefs of SMM Panel or its affiliates.

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

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

Netflix lends authority to the program by categorizing 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 satisfying good-faith critiques about the show from researchers and teachers– as some working archeologists have actually considered the program unverified pseudoscience at best, and harmful false information at worst.

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

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

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

But in this case, I’ve seen support for educators and researchers who have committed to pressing back on popular pseudoscience.

Creators Rebutting “Ancient Apocalypse” Get A Boost From SEO

I initially learned of the debate from Buy YouTube Subscribers developer “History With Kayleigh,” who, while not a scholastic or accredited archaeologist, develops instructional videos about ancient history and historical sites.

She engaged with Tweets from scientists who had actually responded and “decided to try and compose a fair defense to the program,” as she informed me.

Kayleigh’s video about “Ancient Armageddon” isn’t the best-performing video on her channel. Still, it was definitely performing 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 But then, I took another screenshot of the channel after the weekend, on December 5th

. Kayleigh launched a second 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

little Buy YouTube Subscribers channel about archaeology in his spare time, made one of the earliest Buy YouTube Subscribers videos critiquing Hancock and the program. And while his reach is much smaller sized, his videos about”Ancient Armageddon” exploded. 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 very 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 particular video, the” external”traffic source was around 28 %, compared to his channel average of around 10%. A third 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 total channel information for contrast. Screenshot of internal analytics of the “Archeology 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 “Archeology Tube” Buy YouTube Subscribers channel, November 2022 I signed in again with his channel on December 5th. Screenshot from Buy YouTube Subscribers, December 2022 This first video still acquires 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 getting the story

and filling up search engine results pages(SERPs ). Screenshot of internal analytics of the”Archeology Tube”Buy YouTube Subscribers channel, November 2022 The second video has extremely different stats, being pushed mostly by Buy YouTube Subscribers’s browse features like suggested videos. Screenshot of internal analytics of the “Archeology Tube” Buy YouTube Subscribers channel, November 2022

This time, Buy YouTube Subscribers seems to have recognized the interest in a trending subject and pushed the video accordingly. In the very first video that he made about”Ancient Archaeology, “Dr. Farley attended to Hancock straight with a critique focusing on the relationship in between the theories positioned in the program, and white supremacy.

In the 2nd video, Dr. Farley concentrated on debunking the particular fallacies in the program.

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

The second video also has some comments like this, however many more positive remarks or useful criticisms. This video just spoke straight to some of the fallacies in the program but does not directly deal with racism or white supremacy.”

Even with the negative reaction, the reality 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 might argue that this is a fluke– and that these seemingly effective efficiency metrics are merely about profiting from a trending keyword.

But Buy YouTube Subscribers algorithms work in a different way from Google Search.

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

“History with Kayleigh” has a big following already that most likely offered her videos an increase. But Dr. Farley does not have a big following, and the reach of his videos comes down to organic discovery.

Individuals Search For Details About “Ancient Apocalypse” And Discover Review

Other scientists, with little and big followings, have likewise seen abnormally high traffic about this topic on other platforms.

Dr. Flint Dibble, an archaeologist at Cardiff University, composed a counterclaim for The Discussion and kept in mind the appeal of the piece on Twitter:

Screenshot from Twitter, November 2022

I reached out to Dr. Dibble for his viewpoint. He mentioned: “I have actually gotten a vast array of actions to my thread. Plenty of abuse, and plenty of praise. Several people plainly found it while searching for more details on the program.

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

The people who pointed out discovering the thread through a search were all glad for quickly getting a clearer context for the show.”

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

Screenshot from Twitter, 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 blogged about “Ancient Armageddon” became the very best carrying out 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 amount of traffic. What’s intriguing here is how the material about the program compares to other material by this developer, specifically because the site is reasonably little.

Dr. Costopoulos believes that researchers can reach audiences hungry for info if they learn the tools.

“Researchers can use these tools simply as well as our pseudo-alters,” he told me, “and typically to much better result, due to the fact that we actually have proof to back up our claims.”

How SEO Can Be Used To Spread Misinformation

Browse algorithms are hotbeds of false information.

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

Google has actually been considering false information and how finest to solve it for several years.

People who market conspiracy theories and pseudoscience know this. They’re skilled marketers and writers, and they’re good at SEO.

That can make it a lot more hard to communicate excellent science than false information. Scientists have requiring jobs outside of marketing and publishing, and their conclusions are frequently challenging to interact efficiently.

They’re not trained to do it, and academic community is slow to adjust to digital trends.

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

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

It would be actually cool if our universities would help … but I have actually discovered 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 great and has excellent intents, but by and large, they’re early in the video game on utilizing social networks as a media tool.”

So we have a dilemma where researchers, who aren’t necessarily trained in interactions and marketing, take on against professional marketers of concepts. And they’re doing it with individual enthusiasm jobs on top of their existing tasks.

When it concerns organic reach, researchers require allies.

Is Critique Of “Ancient Armageddon” Having An Impact?

The results do not seem as motivating when you zoom out and have a look at the SERPs for “Ancient Apocalypse.”

I opened an incognito window in Chrome and made certain my VPN was turned on (United States place), then searched for [ancient apocalypse]

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

Immediately below are the video results. The 2nd video result 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 fewer views but critiques the program.

We can also see, on the info panel, that the reviews from the scientific neighborhood might not be having a widespread impact. Audiences review the show well.

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

These are mostly critiques of the show released on big media platforms. Reporters are assisting researchers get their message out.

I checked in again a couple of days later on, utilizing an incognito guest Chrome browser with my VPN switched on (United States location). There was an intriguing modification in the SERP:

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

So, what’s the takeaway here?

Archaeologists Saw A Boost From SEO With Limited, But Important, Effect

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

The minimal impact of this cumulative effort demonstrates the obstacles dealing with science communicators. The effect of their critique seems to be a drop in the bucket compared to millions of individuals who enjoyed the program.

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

They’re developing communities, providing information for people who search for it, and altering minds. When you look closely, you can clearly browse algorithms rewarding these creators for their efforts.

Interested users do find legitimate scientific research study when they check out the series. The content is reaching individuals, and it’s inspiring them to analyze the show seriously.

This is encouraging news for the overall quality of search.

I think marketers can help here.

SEO experts have the understanding and resources to assist amplify these messages. Perhaps we could consider it a bit of search community service.

More resources:

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