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

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

It invested a week trending in the global leading 10 on Netflix, accumulating around 24,620,000 watch hours between November 14th and November 20th, 2022.

Netflix lends authority to the show by categorizing it as a “docuseries,” and IMDB categorizes it as a “documentary” and “history.”

However online, it’s been shrouded in controversy, and search algorithms might be satisfying good-faith critiques about the show from researchers and teachers– as some working archeologists have deemed the program dubious 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, citing 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 controversy– how scientists and science communicators provide their critiques of the program, and how audiences find them.

Browse algorithms get a lot of critiques for how they can be utilized to spread false information.

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

Creators Rebutting “Ancient Armageddon” Get An Increase From SEO

I first learned of the controversy from Buy YouTube Subscribers developer “History With Kayleigh,” who, while not an academic or recognized archaeologist, creates educational videos about ancient history and historical sites.

She connected with Tweets from scientists who had responded and “chose 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 absolutely 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 But then, I took another screenshot of the channel after the weekend, on December 5th

. Kayleigh launched a second video, and the very first” Ancient Armageddon: Truth Or Fiction?” had actually 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. Costs Farley, an archaeologist and associate teacher at Southern Connecticut State University who runs a

little Buy YouTube Subscribers channel about archaeology in his free 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 Apocalypse” 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 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 general channel information 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 best for within Buy YouTube Subscribers search. Screenshot of internal analytics of the “Archeology Tube” Buy YouTube Subscribers channel, November 2022 I checked in once again with his channel on December 5th. Screenshot from Buy YouTube Subscribers, December 2022 This very 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 sense with publications getting the story

and filling up online search engine results pages(SERPs ). Screenshot of internal analytics of the”Archeology Tube”Buy YouTube Subscribers channel, November 2022 The second video has extremely various data, being pushed mainly 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 actually recognized the interest in a trending subject and pressed the video accordingly. In the first video that he made about”Ancient Archaeology, “Dr. Farley attended to Hancock straight with a review focusing on the relationship in between the theories positioned in the show, and white supremacy.

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

He told 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 myths with racism. That video has … numerous disparaging comments [that] are misogynistic, racist, and homophobic.

The second video also has some remarks like this, but much more favorable remarks or positive criticisms. This video simply spoke directly to some of the frauds in the show however does not directly resolve racism or white supremacy.”

Even with the negative reaction, the truth stays that individuals seen 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 relatively effective performance metrics are merely about taking advantage of a trending keyword.

However Buy YouTube Subscribers algorithms work differently from Google Browse.

Buy YouTube Subscribers uses metadata about videos to estimate significance, 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 audience satisfaction.

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

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

Other scientists, with little and large followings, have also seen abnormally high traffic about this subject on other platforms.

Dr. Flint Dibble, an archaeologist at Cardiff University, wrote a rebuttal 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 have actually gotten a wide variety of reactions to my thread. A lot of abuse, and a lot of appreciation. Several individuals plainly found it while searching for more details on the show.

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

Individuals who discussed finding the thread through a search were all pleased for quickly getting a clearer context for the show.”

He shared an example of a Twitter user who went trying to find info about the show 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, discussed the program on his individual WordPress blog site and shared his blog analytics with me in late November.

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

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

General, this isn’t a big amount of traffic. What’s fascinating here is how the content about the program compares to other material by this creator, specifically due to the fact that the website is reasonably little.

Dr. Costopoulos thinks that researchers can reach audiences starving for information if they discover the tools.

“Scientists can utilize these tools simply as well as our pseudo-alters,” he informed me, “and frequently to better impact, due to the fact that we actually have proof to back up our claims.”

How SEO Can Be Used To Spread False Information

Search algorithms are hotbeds of false information.

Dissemination of conspiracies and false information 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 fix it for many years.

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

That can make it far more hard to interact great science than misinformation. Scientists have requiring tasks outside of marketing and publishing, and their conclusions are typically hard to interact effectively.

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

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

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

It would be truly cool if our universities would assist … 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 paper.

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

So we have a conundrum where researchers, who aren’t necessarily trained in interactions and marketing, face off versus expert online marketers of concepts. And they’re doing it with personal passion jobs on top of their existing tasks.

When it pertains to organic reach, researchers require allies.

Is Review Of “Ancient Armageddon” Having An Impact?

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 switched on (United States place), then searched for [ancient apocalypse]

The results here are a little a mixed bag. The first result is just 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 amount of reach compared to the examples we looked at above.

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

We can likewise see, on the details panel, that the reviews from the clinical neighborhood might not be having a widespread impact. Audiences review the show well.

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

These are mostly critiques of the show released on big media platforms. Reporters are assisting scientists get their message out.

I checked in once again a couple of days later, using an anonymous guest Chrome browser with my VPN switched on (United States place). There was an intriguing change in the SERP:

It appears like Google picked up on the controversy and the newsworthiness of the search. The video results were gone, replaced by a “Top Stories” search feature 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 topic. But we can see from Google results that the show is popular, and the show’s fans have a great deal of traction too.

The restricted effect of this collective effort shows the difficulties facing science communicators. The effect of their review seems to be a drop in the bucket compared to countless people who saw the show.

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

They’re building communities, offering info for people who look for it, and changing minds. When you look carefully, you can clearly search algorithms rewarding these creators for their efforts.

Interested users do discover legitimate scientific research when they look into the series. The material is reaching people, and it’s motivating them to analyze the program seriously.

This is motivating news for the general quality of search.

I think online marketers can assist here.

SEO professionals have the knowledge and resources to assist magnify these messages. Perhaps we might consider it a bit of search community service.

More resources:

Featured Image: Elnur/SMM Panel