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

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

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

It spent a week trending in the international 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.”

However online, it’s been shrouded in debate, and search algorithms may be fulfilling good-faith reviews about the show from scientists and educators– as some working archeologists have actually considered the show dubious pseudoscience at best, 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 role SEO plays in the controversy– how scientists and science communicators present their critiques of the show, and how audiences find them.

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

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

Developers Rebutting “Ancient Apocalypse” Get An Increase From SEO

I initially learned of the controversy from Buy YouTube Subscribers creator “History With Kayleigh,” who, while not an academic or certified archaeologist, develops educational videos about ancient history and historical sites.

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

Kayleigh’s video about “Ancient Apocalypse” isn’t the best-performing video on her channel. Still, it was certainly carrying out 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 Apocalypse: Reality Or Fiction?” had already grown to 104,000 views

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

small Buy YouTube Subscribers channel about archaeology in his free time, made one of the earliest Buy YouTube Subscribers videos critiquing Hancock and the program. And while his reach is much smaller, 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 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 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 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 performing finest for within Buy YouTube Subscribers search. Screenshot of internal analytics of the “Archeology Tube” Buy YouTube Subscribers channel, November 2022 I signed in once 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 had to do with 11% lower on December 5th than they were on November 22nd. This makes sense with publications getting the story

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

This time, Buy YouTube Subscribers appears to have actually recognized the interest in a trending topic and pressed the video appropriately. In the first video that he made about”Ancient Archaeology, “Dr. Farley dealt with Hancock straight with a critique concentrating on the relationship in between the theories postured in the program, and white supremacy.

In the second video, Dr. Farley concentrated on debunking the specific fallacies 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 comments [that] are misogynistic, racist, and homophobic.

The 2nd video also has some remarks like this, but much more positive remarks or constructive criticisms. This video just spoke directly to a few of the fallacies in the show but does not straight attend to racism or white supremacy.”

Even with the negative response, the fact stays that people enjoyed and engaged with the video, as this screenshot of the video’s engagement statistics 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 apparently effective efficiency metrics are simply about capitalizing on a trending keyword.

But Buy YouTube Subscribers algorithms work differently from Google Search.

Buy YouTube Subscribers utilizes metadata about videos to estimate importance, however it also uses user engagement signals such as watch time to evaluate the significance of videos to particular questions. Buy YouTube Subscribers’s top ranking factor is audience fulfillment.

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

Individuals Look For Information About “Ancient Armageddon” And Discover Critique

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, composed a rebuttal for The Conversation and noted the appeal of the piece on Twitter:

Screenshot from Twitter, November 2022

I reached out to Dr. Dibble for his viewpoint. He specified: “I’ve gotten a wide range of responses to my thread. Lots of abuse, and lots of appreciation. A number of individuals clearly discovered it while searching for more info on the show.

Some, especially within the first week of release, discussed they were browsing Twitter to find reactions to it either before viewing or mid-watch.

Individuals who discussed discovering the thread through a search were all grateful for quickly getting a clearer context for the program.”

He shared an example of a Twitter user who went trying to find details about the program while they were watching it and valued the critique he posted 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 and shared his blog site analytics with me in late November.

The content he discussed “Ancient Apocalypse” ended up being the very 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 huge amount of traffic. What’s interesting here is how the material about the program compares to other material by this creator, particularly due to the fact that the website is reasonably small.

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

“Scientists can use these tools just as well as our pseudo-alters,” he told me, “and often to much better effect, due to the fact that we really have evidence to back up our claims.”

How SEO Can Be Used To Spread Misinformation

Browse algorithms are hotbeds of misinformation.

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

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

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

That can make it a lot more hard to interact excellent science than misinformation. Scientists 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 patterns.

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

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

It would be truly cool if our universities would help … however I have actually found the media departments at unis are older 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, but by and large, they’re early in the game on using social networks as a media tool.”

So we have a quandary 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 tasks on top of their existing tasks.

When it pertains to organic reach, scientists need allies.

Is Critique Of “Ancient Apocalypse” Having An Impact?

The outcomes don’t appear as encouraging 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 location), then searched for [ancient apocalypse]

The outcomes here are a little a variety. The first result is just a link to the show. That’s to be expected.

Right away listed below are the video results. The 2nd video outcome appears to support the program. 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 third video result has much less views however critiques the program.

We can likewise see, on the details panel, that the reviews from the clinical community might not be having a widespread effect. Audiences review the program well.

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

These are mainly critiques of the program released on big media platforms. Journalists are helping scientists get their message out.

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

It looks like Google picked up on the debate 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 An Increase From SEO With Limited, But Important, Effect

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

The minimal impact of this cumulative effort demonstrates the obstacles dealing with science communicators. The impact of their review seems to be a drop in the bucket compared to countless people who enjoyed the program.

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

They’re constructing communities, providing information for individuals who look for it, and changing minds. When you look carefully, you can clearly browse algorithms rewarding these developers for their efforts.

Interested users do discover legitimate scientific research study when they check out the series. The material is reaching people, and it’s inspiring them to analyze the program seriously.

This is encouraging news for the general quality of search.

I think online marketers can assist here.

SEO professionals have the understanding and resources to assist enhance these messages. Perhaps we might consider it a little bit of search social work.

More resources:

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