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

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

It invested 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 provides authority to the program by classifying it as a “docuseries,” and IMDB categorizes it as a “documentary” and “history.”

But online, it’s been shrouded in controversy, and search algorithms may be satisfying good-faith critiques about the program from scientists and teachers– as some working archeologists have actually deemed the show unsubstantiated pseudoscience at best, and dangerous false information at worst.

The Society For American Archaeology composed a letter to Netflix asking it to reclassify and contextualize the program, citing 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 controversy– how researchers and science communicators present their reviews of the program, and how audiences find them.

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

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

Creators Rebutting “Ancient Apocalypse” Get A Boost From SEO

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

She connected with Tweets from scientists who had reacted and “decided to try and compose a fair rebuttal 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 short amount 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 first” Ancient Armageddon: Truth Or Fiction?” had actually already 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. Costs Farley, an archaeologist and associate professor at Southern Connecticut State University who runs a

little Buy YouTube Subscribers channel about archaeology in his leisure time, made one of the earliest Buy YouTube Subscribers videos critiquing Hancock and the show. And while his reach is much smaller, his videos about”Ancient Apocalypse” blew up. 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 first video about Graham Hancock drew more traffic than typical 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”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 likewise 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 gets 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 good sense with publications picking up 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 wildly various data, being pushed primarily 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 actually acknowledged the interest in a trending topic and pressed the video accordingly. In the very first video that he made about”Ancient Archaeology, “Dr. Farley addressed Hancock straight with a review concentrating on the relationship in between the theories postured in the show, and white supremacy.

In the 2nd video, Dr. Farley concentrated on unmasking the specific falsehoods in the program.

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

The second video also has some comments like this, but many more favorable remarks or constructive criticisms. This video simply spoke straight to some of the fallacies in the show however does not directly resolve bigotry or white supremacy.”

Even with the negative reaction, the truth remains that individuals viewed 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– which these seemingly successful performance metrics are merely about capitalizing on a trending keyword.

But Buy YouTube Subscribers algorithms work differently from Google Browse.

Buy YouTube Subscribers utilizes metadata about videos to estimate significance, but it likewise uses user engagement signals such as watch time to evaluate the relevance of videos to particular queries. Buy YouTube Subscribers’s leading ranking factor is audience satisfaction.

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

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

Other researchers, with little and big followings, have actually likewise seen unusually high traffic about this topic on other platforms.

Dr. Flint Dibble, an archaeologist at Cardiff University, composed a rebuttal for The Conversation and noted the appeal of the piece on Buy Twitter Verification:

Screenshot from Buy Twitter Verification, November 2022

I reached out to Dr. Dibble for his point of view. He stated: “I have actually gotten a wide range of responses to my thread. Lots of abuse, and a lot of appreciation. A number of people clearly found it while looking for more details on the program.

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

Individuals who mentioned finding 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 trying to find info about the show while they were enjoying it and valued the review he published on the platform:

Screenshot from Buy Twitter Verification, December 2022

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

The content he blogged about “Ancient Apocalypse” ended up being the very best performing on his website in a matter of days, with Google Browse comprising the clear majority of traffic.

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

Total, this isn’t a big quantity of traffic. What’s fascinating here is how the content about the program compares to other material by this creator, especially since the website is relatively little.

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

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

How SEO Can Be Utilized To Spread Out Misinformation

Search algorithms are hotbeds of misinformation.

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

Google has been considering misinformation and how best to resolve it for several years.

People who peddle conspiracy theories and pseudoscience understand this. They’re professional online marketers and storytellers, and they’re good at SEO.

That can make it a lot more challenging to interact good science than false information. Researchers have requiring jobs outside of marketing and publishing, and their conclusions are often hard to interact effectively.

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

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

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

It would be really cool if our universities would assist … however I have actually found 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 terrific and has great intents, however by and big, they’re early in the video game on using social networks as a media tool.”

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

When it concerns natural reach, scientists need allies.

Is Critique Of “Ancient Armageddon” Having An Impact?

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

I opened an incognito window in Chrome and ensured my VPN was turned on (United States location), then looked for [ancient apocalypse]

The outcomes here are a little a variety. The very first outcome is simply a link to the program. That’s to be anticipated.

Right away listed 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 considerable 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 likewise see, on the details panel, that the reviews from the scientific neighborhood might not be having an extensive effect. Audiences review the program well.

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

These are mainly critiques of the show published on big media platforms. Journalists are assisting scientists get their message out.

I checked in once again a couple of days later on, using an incognito visitor Chrome browser with my VPN switched on (United States location). There was an interesting change in the SERP:

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

So, what’s the takeaway here?

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

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

The limited effect of this cumulative effort shows the obstacles facing science communicators. The effect of their critique seems to be a drop in the container compared to millions of individuals who saw the program.

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

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

Interested users do discover genuine clinical research when they look into the series. The material is reaching individuals, and it’s inspiring them to analyze the program seriously.

This is encouraging news for the general quality of search.

I believe online marketers can help here.

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

More resources:

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