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

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

You might have become aware of “Ancient Armageddon”, a series in which host Graham Hancock proposes questionable 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 show by categorizing it as a “docuseries,” and IMDB classifies it as a “documentary” and “history.”

But online, it’s been shrouded in debate, and search algorithms may be rewarding good-faith reviews about the program from scientists and educators– as some working archeologists have deemed the program unsubstantiated pseudoscience at finest, and dangerous 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 “false claims,” and the associations that the theories presented have with “racist, white supremacist ideologies.”

But this is a story about the role SEO plays in the debate– how scientists and science communicators provide their critiques of the program, and how audiences find them.

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

However in this case, I have actually seen assistance for teachers and researchers who have committed to pushing back on popular pseudoscience.

Developers Rebutting “Ancient Apocalypse” Get A Boost From SEO

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

She communicated with Tweets from researchers who had actually reacted and “decided to try and write a fair counterclaim 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 performing above the average of her recent releases in a brief amount 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 second video, and the first” Ancient Armageddon: Fact Or Fiction?” had actually currently grown to 104,000 views

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

small Buy YouTube Subscribers channel about archaeology in his spare 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” 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 listed 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 total channel data 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 carrying out best 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 very 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 good sense with publications picking up the story

and filling 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 statistics, being pressed primarily by Buy YouTube Subscribers’s browse features like advised 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 appropriately. 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 presented in the show, and white supremacy.

In the second video, Dr. Farley focused on debunking the specific frauds in the program.

He informed me, “There is a MARKED distinction in the responses to the 2 videos. In video # 1, I discuss white supremacy and the history of Atlantean misconceptions with bigotry. That video has … hundreds of disparaging remarks [that] are misogynistic, racist, and homophobic.

The second video likewise has some remarks like this, but a lot more positive remarks or constructive criticisms. This video simply spoke directly to a few of the falsehoods in the program but does not straight deal with bigotry or white supremacy.”

Even with the unfavorable response, the reality remains 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 performance metrics are merely about taking advantage of a trending keyword.

However Buy YouTube Subscribers algorithms work differently from Google Search.

Buy YouTube Subscribers utilizes metadata about videos to approximate relevance, however it also uses user engagement signals such as watch time to check the significance of videos to particular questions. Buy YouTube Subscribers’s leading ranking aspect is viewer fulfillment.

“History with Kayleigh” has a large following already that likely provided her videos a boost. However Dr. Farley doesn’t have a big 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 little and big followings, have likewise seen abnormally 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 appeal of the piece on Twitter:

Screenshot from Twitter, November 2022

I connected to Dr. Dibble for his point of view. He stated: “I have actually gotten a wide range of reactions to my thread. Lots of abuse, and lots of appreciation. Several people clearly found it while searching for more info on the program.

Some, especially within the first week of release, discussed they were browsing Twitter to discover reactions to it either prior to seeing or mid-watch.

The people who mentioned finding the thread through a search were all grateful for rapidly getting a clearer context for the program.”

He shared an example of a Twitter user who went searching for information about the program while they were seeing it and valued the review he posted on the platform:

Screenshot from Twitter, December 2022

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

The material he blogged about “Ancient Armageddon” ended up being the 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

General, this isn’t a huge amount of traffic. What’s fascinating here is how the content about the show compares to other material by this creator, particularly because the website is fairly small.

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

“Scientists can utilize these tools just as well as our pseudo-alters,” he told me, “and frequently to much better result, due to the fact that we really have proof to support our claims.”

How SEO Can Be Used To Spread Out Misinformation

Search algorithms are hotbeds of misinformation.

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

Google has been reckoning with false information and how finest to solve it for several years.

Individuals who market conspiracy theories and pseudoscience know this. They’re skilled online marketers and writers, and they’re proficient at SEO.

That can make it a lot more difficult to interact excellent science than misinformation. Scientists have demanding tasks outside of marketing and publishing, and their conclusions are frequently tough to interact successfully.

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

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

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

It would be actually cool if our universities would assist … however I’ve found the media departments at unis are older school. If I brought this to them, they ‘d pitch a media declaration to the local newspaper.

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

So we have a quandary where scientists, who aren’t necessarily trained in interactions and marketing, take on against expert online marketers of ideas. And they’re doing it with personal passion jobs on top of their existing tasks.

When it concerns organic reach, researchers require allies.

Is Review Of “Ancient Armageddon” Having An Effect?

The outcomes do not 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 turned on (United States place), then looked for [ancient apocalypse]

The outcomes here are a bit of a mixed bag. The first outcome is simply a link to the show. That’s to be anticipated.

Right away listed below are the video results. The second video outcome appears to support the program. It had around 60,000 views when I took the screenshot. That’s a substantial quantity 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 details panel, that the reviews from the scientific community may not be having a widespread effect. Audiences examine the show well.

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

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

I signed in again a few days later on, utilizing an anonymous guest Chrome internet browser with my VPN switched on (United States area). There was an interesting modification in the SERP:

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

So, what’s the takeaway here?

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

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

The limited effect of this collective effort shows the difficulties dealing with science communicators. The effect of their critique appears to be a drop in the container compared to millions of individuals who saw the show.

However we shouldn’t discount the success of these researchers and teachers, either.

They’re constructing neighborhoods, supplying info for people who search for it, and altering minds. When you look carefully, you can clearly browse algorithms rewarding these developers for their efforts.

Interested users do discover genuine scientific research when they check out the series. The content is reaching people, and it’s inspiring them to analyze the show critically.

This is encouraging news for the overall quality of search.

I believe marketers can assist here.

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

More resources:

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