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

Posted by

The viewpoints revealed within this story are entirely the author’s and do not show the viewpoints and beliefs of Online search engine Journal or its affiliates.

You might have found out 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 worldwide top 10 on Netflix, accumulating around 24,620,000 watch hours in 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.”

However online, it’s been shrouded in controversy, and search algorithms may be satisfying good-faith reviews about the show from researchers and educators– as some working archaeologists have actually deemed the program dubious pseudoscience at finest, and unsafe misinformation 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 presented have with “racist, white supremacist ideologies.”

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

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

However in this case, I’ve seen assistance for educators and researchers who have dedicated to pushing back on popular pseudoscience.

Developers Rebutting “Ancient Armageddon” Get An Increase From SEO

I first learned of the debate from Buy YouTube Subscribers developer “History With Kayleigh,” who, while not an academic or accredited archaeologist, produces instructional videos about ancient history and archaeological sites.

She interacted with Tweets from scientists who had reacted and “decided to attempt and write a reasonable defense to the show,” as she told 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 current 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 first” Ancient Apocalypse: Reality Or Fiction?” had currently grown to 104,000 views

. Screenshot from Buy YouTube Subscribers, December 2022 Kayleigh wasn’t the only creator to publish material 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 downtime, 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 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 third of that external traffic was from Google.

Screenshot of internal analytics of the”Archaeology 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 “Archaeology Tube” Buy YouTube Subscribers channel, November 2022

The following screenshot is the total channel data for comparison. Screenshot of internal analytics of the “Archaeology 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 “Archaeology 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 picking up the story

and filling up online search engine results pages(SERPs ). Screenshot of internal analytics of the”Archaeology Tube”Buy YouTube Subscribers channel, November 2022 The 2nd video has wildly different stats, being pressed mostly by Buy YouTube Subscribers’s browse functions like recommended videos. Screenshot of internal analytics of the “Archaeology Tube” Buy YouTube Subscribers channel, November 2022

This time, Buy YouTube Subscribers seems to have acknowledged the interest in a trending topic and pushed the video accordingly. In the first video that he made about”Ancient Armageddon,”Dr. Farley addressed Hancock straight with a review concentrating on the relationship between the theories presented in the program, and white supremacy.

In the 2nd video, Dr. Farley concentrated on unmasking the specific fallacies in the show.

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

The second video also has some remarks like this, however much more positive remarks or constructive criticisms. This video just spoke straight to a few of the frauds in the program but does not straight deal with bigotry or white supremacy.”

Even with the negative reaction, the truth remains that people watched and engaged with the video, as this screenshot of the video’s engagement data reveals.

Screenshot of internal analytics of the”Archaeology Tube” Buy YouTube Subscribers channel, November 2022< img src= "https://cdn.searchenginejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/unnamed-4-639a5a656371e-sej.png"alt=" A screenshot of YouTube channel "Archaeology Tube"internal analytics"/ > One could argue that this is a fluke– and that these apparently effective performance metrics are merely about capitalizing on a trending keyword.

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

Buy YouTube Subscribers uses metadata about videos to estimate importance, but it also uses user engagement signals such as watch time to check the relevance of videos to specific inquiries. Buy YouTube Subscribers’s leading ranking aspect is viewer complete satisfaction.

“History with Kayleigh” has a big following currently that likely gave her videos a boost. However Dr. Farley does not have a big following, and the reach of his videos comes down to natural discovery.

People Look For Info About “Ancient Apocalypse” And Discover Critique

Other scientists, with small and large followings, have actually also seen uncommonly high traffic about this topic on other platforms.

Dr. Flint Dibble, an archaeologist at Cardiff University, composed a counterclaim for The Conversation 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 specified: “I’ve gotten a wide variety of actions to my thread. Lots of abuse, and plenty of appreciation. Numerous individuals plainly discovered it while searching for more details on the show.

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

The people who discussed discovering the thread through a search were all delighted for quickly getting a clearer context for the program.”

He shared an example of a Twitter user who went trying to find information about the show while they were enjoying it and appreciated the review 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 and shared his blog site analytics with me in late November.

The material he blogged about “Ancient Armageddon” became the very best performing on his site in a matter of days, with Google Browse making up the clear bulk of traffic.

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

Overall, this isn’t a huge quantity of traffic. What’s fascinating here is how the material about the program compares to other content by this developer, especially due to the fact that the website is fairly small.

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

“Researchers can utilize these tools simply as well as our pseudo-alters,” he told me, “and often to better impact, since we really have proof to support our claims.”

How SEO Can Be Used 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 Badge.

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

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

That can make it far more tough to communicate great science than false information. Researchers have requiring tasks beyond marketing and publishing, and their conclusions are frequently tough to interact efficiently.

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

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

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

It would be truly cool if our universities would assist … but I have actually found the media departments at unis are older school. If I brought this to them, they ‘d pitch a media statement to the regional newspaper.

Our media department is great and has fantastic objectives, but by and big, they’re early in the video game on using social media as a media tool.”

So we have a conundrum where scientists, who aren’t always trained in communications and marketing, take on against professional online marketers of concepts. And they’re doing it with personal passion tasks on top of their existing tasks.

When it comes to natural reach, researchers need allies.

Is Review 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 searched for [ancient apocalypse]

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

Instantly listed below are the video results. The 2nd video result 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 outcome has much less views but critiques the program.

We can likewise see, on the info panel, that the reviews from the clinical community may not be having a widespread impact. Audiences review 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 mainly reviews of the program released on big media platforms. Journalists are assisting scientists get their message out.

I checked in once again a couple of days later on, utilizing an anonymous visitor Chrome internet browser with my VPN turned on (United States area). There was an interesting modification in the SERP:

It appears like Google picked up on the debate and the newsworthiness of the search. The video results were gone, replaced by a “Top Stories” search feature that appears above the natural outcomes.

So, what’s the takeaway here?

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

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

The limited impact of this cumulative effort demonstrates the hurdles facing science communicators. The impact of their review appears to be a drop in the pail compared to countless people who enjoyed the program.

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

They’re building neighborhoods, supplying information for people who search for it, and changing minds. When you look carefully, you can plainly search 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 individuals, and it’s motivating them to analyze the show critically.

This is motivating news for the overall quality of search.

I believe marketers can help here.

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

More resources:

Featured Image: Elnur/SMM Panel