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

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The viewpoints expressed 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 worldwide leading 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 categorizes it as a “documentary” and “history.”

But online, it’s been shrouded in controversy, and search algorithms may be rewarding good-faith critiques about the show from researchers and teachers– as some working archeologists have actually deemed the show unverified pseudoscience at finest, and harmful misinformation at worst.

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

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

Search algorithms get a great deal of reviews for how they can be utilized to spread false information.

However 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 An Increase From SEO

I first discovered of the debate from Buy YouTube Subscribers creator “History With Kayleigh,” who, while not a scholastic or recognized archaeologist, creates instructional videos about ancient history and archaeological sites.

She connected with Tweets from scientists who had actually reacted and “chose to try and write a reasonable 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 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 actually 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. Expense Farley, an archaeologist and associate teacher 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 program. And while his reach is much smaller, his videos about”Ancient Armageddon” 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, showing 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 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 data 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 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 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 search engine results pages(SERPs ). Screenshot of internal analytics of the”Archeology Tube”Buy YouTube Subscribers channel, November 2022 The 2nd video has wildly various statistics, being pressed mainly 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 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 addressed Hancock straight with a review concentrating on the relationship in between the theories positioned in the show, and white supremacy.

In the 2nd video, Dr. Farley concentrated on exposing the specific fallacies in the program.

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

The 2nd video likewise has some comments like this, however many more positive remarks or constructive criticisms. This video simply spoke directly to some of the fallacies in the show but does not directly deal with racism or white supremacy.”

Even with the unfavorable response, the fact remains that individuals enjoyed and engaged with the video, as this screenshot of the video’s engagement stats shows.

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 seemingly effective efficiency metrics are just about capitalizing on a trending keyword.

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

Buy YouTube Subscribers uses metadata about videos to approximate importance, however it likewise uses user engagement signals such as watch time to evaluate the importance of videos to particular questions. Buy YouTube Subscribers’s leading ranking element is viewer complete satisfaction.

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

People Look For Details About “Ancient Apocalypse” And Discover Review

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

Dr. Flint Dibble, an archaeologist at Cardiff University, wrote a counterclaim for The Discussion and noted the popularity of the piece on Twitter:

Screenshot from Twitter, November 2022

I reached out to Dr. Dibble for his point of view. He mentioned: “I’ve gotten a wide variety of responses to my thread. A lot of abuse, and a lot of appreciation. A number of individuals plainly found it while searching for more information on the program.

Some, specifically within the first week of release, mentioned they were searching Twitter to find reactions to it either prior to enjoying or mid-watch.

Individuals who mentioned discovering the thread through a search were all pleased for rapidly getting a clearer context for the program.”

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

Screenshot from Twitter, December 2022

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

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

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

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

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

“Researchers can utilize these tools just as well as our pseudo-alters,” he informed me, “and frequently to better effect, since we really have evidence to back up our claims.”

How SEO Can Be Utilized To Spread Misinformation

Search algorithms are hotbeds of false information.

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

Google has been considering misinformation and how finest to solve it for many years.

People who pitch conspiracy theories and pseudoscience understand this. They’re expert marketers and storytellers, 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 often difficult to interact successfully.

They’re not trained to do it, and academia is slow to adapt to digital trends.

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

Dr. Farley stated: “By and big, 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, far better at it. Academics, frankly, do not have the time to discover this things.

It would be truly cool if our universities would help … however I’ve 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 newspaper.

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

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

When it comes to organic reach, researchers need allies.

Is Critique Of “Ancient Armageddon” Having An Effect?

The outcomes don’t appear as motivating when you zoom out and have a look at the SERPs for “Ancient Armageddon.”

I opened an incognito window in Chrome and ensured my VPN was switched on (United States area), then searched for [ancient armageddon]

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

Right away below are the video results. The 2nd video outcome appears to support the show. It had around 60,000 views when I took the screenshot. That’s a significant quantity of reach compared to the examples we took a look at above.

The 3rd video result has much less views however reviews the show.

We can also see, on the details panel, that the reviews from the scientific neighborhood may not be having a prevalent 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 primarily critiques of the program published on large media platforms. Journalists are assisting researchers get their message out.

I checked in once again a couple of days later on, utilizing an incognito guest Chrome web browser with my VPN turned on (United States place). There was an intriguing modification 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 “Leading Stories” search function that appears above the natural 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. But we can see from Google results that the show is popular, and the show’s supporters have a lot of traction too.

The restricted effect of this collective effort shows the hurdles facing science communicators. The effect of their critique seems to be a drop in the container compared to countless individuals who enjoyed the show.

However we should not mark down the success of these scientists and teachers, either.

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

Interested users do find genuine clinical research when they look into the series. The content is reaching individuals, and it’s motivating them to analyze the show critically.

This is encouraging news for the total quality of search.

I believe marketers can assist here.

SEO professionals have the knowledge and resources to assist enhance these messages. Maybe we could consider it a bit of search community service.

More resources:

Included Image: Elnur/SMM Panel