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

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

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

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

However online, it’s been shrouded in controversy, and search algorithms might be fulfilling good-faith reviews about the program from scientists and teachers– as some working archeologists have deemed the program unverified pseudoscience at finest, and hazardous misinformation at worst.

The Society For American Archaeology wrote a letter to Netflix asking it to reclassify and contextualize the program, mentioning 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 scientists and science communicators present their reviews of the show, and how audiences discover them.

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

However in this case, I have actually seen support for teachers and scientists who have actually dedicated to pushing back on popular pseudoscience.

Developers Rebutting “Ancient Armageddon” Get A Boost From SEO

I initially learned of the debate from Buy YouTube Subscribers developer “History With Kayleigh,” who, while not a scholastic or certified archaeologist, develops instructional videos about ancient history and historical sites.

She communicated with Tweets from researchers who had actually reacted and “decided to try and write a fair rebuttal 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 absolutely 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 launched a 2nd video, and the first” Ancient Armageddon: Reality Or Fiction?” had already grown to 104,000 views

. Screenshot from Buy YouTube Subscribers, December 2022 Kayleigh wasn’t the only developer to release 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 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, demonstrating that

his first video about Graham Hancock drew more traffic than usual 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 information for contrast. 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 signed 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 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 statistics, being pushed mostly by Buy YouTube Subscribers’s browse functions like advised 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 subject and pushed the video accordingly. In the first video that he made about”Ancient Archaeology, “Dr. Farley resolved Hancock directly with a review concentrating on the relationship between the theories positioned in the show, and white supremacy.

In the second video, Dr. Farley concentrated on exposing the particular frauds in the program.

He informed me, “There is a MARKED difference in the reactions to the 2 videos. In video # 1, I discuss white supremacy and the history of Atlantean misconceptions with racism. That video has … hundreds of disparaging comments [that] are misogynistic, racist, and homophobic.

The 2nd video likewise has some remarks like this, but a lot more favorable comments or constructive criticisms. This video simply spoke straight to a few of the frauds in the program however does not directly resolve bigotry or white supremacy.”

Even with the negative response, the fact stays that people 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 seemingly effective efficiency metrics are merely about profiting from a trending keyword.

But Buy YouTube Subscribers algorithms work differently from Google Search.

Buy YouTube Subscribers utilizes metadata about videos to estimate significance, but it likewise utilizes user engagement signals such as watch time to check the importance of videos to particular queries. Buy YouTube Subscribers’s top ranking element is audience fulfillment.

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

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

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

Dr. Flint Dibble, an archaeologist at Cardiff University, wrote a rebuttal for The Conversation and kept in mind the appeal of the piece on Twitter:

Screenshot from Twitter, November 2022

I connected to Dr. Dibble for his perspective. He mentioned: “I’ve gotten a wide variety of responses to my thread. Plenty of abuse, and plenty of praise. Several people clearly discovered it while looking for more info on the show.

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

Individuals who mentioned finding 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 looking for details about the show while they were viewing it and valued the review he published on the platform:

Screenshot from Twitter, December 2022

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

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

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

Total, this isn’t a big amount of traffic. What’s intriguing here is how the material about the program compares to other content by this developer, especially since the website is fairly small.

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

“Researchers can use these tools simply as well as our pseudo-alters,” he informed me, “and frequently to much better impact, since we actually have evidence to support our claims.”

How SEO Can Be Used To Spread Misinformation

Search algorithms are hotbeds of misinformation.

Dissemination of conspiracies and false information has actually been a hot topic on several platforms, from Buy YouTube Subscribers to Buy Facebook Verification Badge.

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

Individuals who market conspiracy theories and pseudoscience understand this. They’re professional marketers and writers, and they’re good at SEO.

That can make it much more difficult to communicate good science than misinformation. Researchers have requiring tasks beyond marketing and publishing, and their conclusions are typically tough to communicate successfully.

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

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

Dr. Farley said: “By and big, I believe academics have no idea 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 learn this things.

It would be actually cool if our universities would assist … however I’ve found the media departments at unis are older school. If I brought this to them, they ‘d pitch a media statement to the local paper.

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

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

When it concerns organic reach, scientists need allies.

Is Critique Of “Ancient Armageddon” Having An Effect?

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

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

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

Immediately listed below are the video results. The second video result appears to support the program. It had around 60,000 views when I took the screenshot. That’s a considerable quantity of reach compared to the examples we took a look at above.

The third video outcome has much fewer views but critiques the show.

We can also see, on the details panel, that the reviews from the clinical neighborhood might not be having a prevalent effect. Audiences review the program well.

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

These are mostly critiques of the program published on large media platforms. Reporters are helping scientists get their message out.

I checked in again a few days later on, utilizing an incognito visitor Chrome internet browser with my VPN switched on (United States area). 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 results were gone, changed by a “Leading Stories” search function that appears above the natural 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 topic. However we can see from Google results that the program is popular, and the show’s advocates have a lot of traction too.

The minimal effect of this collective effort demonstrates the obstacles dealing with science communicators. The impact of their critique seems to be a drop in the bucket compared to countless individuals who watched the program.

But we shouldn’t mark down the success of these scientists and teachers, either.

They’re constructing communities, offering info for people who search for it, and changing minds. When you look closely, you can plainly search algorithms rewarding these developers for their efforts.

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

This is motivating news for the general quality of search.

I believe marketers can assist here.

SEO experts have the understanding and resources to help amplify these messages. Maybe we might consider it a little bit of search social work.

More resources:

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