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Conversions can be tricky things to keep on top of, and all businesses are different, so how will you know where to set the bar?

Failing to prepare means you’re preparing to fail. Even if things are going well, it’s still important to carry some form of preparation, otherwise, how will you know when you’ve hit your targets?

When it comes to the wide world of driving conversions, most websites will agree that the more they leverage, the better. While this is, of course, completely true, marketing strategies are complex and often expensive entities that require constant monitoring and plenty of funding. Due to this, it’s important to set goals and targets as you go, so you’re fully aware of when you’ve achieved everything you’ve set out to do and can successfully close your campaign.

With this in mind, we can accurately contextualize the metrics that could help to drive your business. Let’s take a deeper look at the world of marketing from a numerical perspective, and see if data can help you to establish conversion goals that are right for your website.

The art of the conversion

As the table above illustrates, conversions and the rate at which they occur can differ wildly depending on lots of things – not least the industry that the website in question hails from. MarketingSherpa defines a ‘conversion’ as “the point at which a recipient of a marketing message performs a desired action.” this means that conversion is simply the name given to the act of getting someone to respond to your Call-To-Action.

This broad definition offers a degree of flexibility for website owners who are looking to set different goals alongside their respective Call-To-Actions and landing pages.

In the world of e-commerce, conversions can mean anything that encourages a prospective customer to successfully interact with the company. If somebody scans a QR code to receive a product voucher then this simple act can be interpreted as a successful conversion.

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More B2B-oriented businesses can have a more complex trail towards conversions that require visitors to interact with the business via email, engagements and on the website pages in a bid to raise the overall reputation of the company in question.

Because of the range of meanings and interpretations surrounding conversions in marketing, it’s logical for a business to set goals in order to turn relevant metrics into contextually appropriate charts of success and to ensure that all stakeholders are on the same page in an organizational sense.

It can be difficult setting the same goals for multiple members of staff, but luckily there are plenty of web analytics tools out there to help users on their path to success. 

Optimized pages

So, now we’re aware of the importance of conversion goals, let’s take a look at the numbers that will help to inform businesses of where to set such goals.

One of the largest drivers of conversions in marketing can be found in the form of landing pages. Amazingly only 52% of the companies that run landing pages actually bother running tests into their effectiveness. It’s also been found that businesses that use videos within their landing pages can boost their conversions by a seismic 86%.

The diversity of landing pages has proved to be limited, with only 48% of companies bothering to set up brand new landing pages for a new campaign. The approach of tweaking existing landing pages may save time but due to different campaigns requiring different kinds of language, it’s possible that audiences won’t be quite as impacted in the same way.

With this in mind, it’s important to anchor your goals to the number of hours you’re capable of investing in your campaigns. Advertising products and services will be effective, but without the right range of landing pages in place, the overall effect of campaigns will be mitigated by fewer conversions.

Putting in fewer hours doesn’t mean that you’re less committed to your marketing campaign – after all, small businesses may need members of staff positioned in more practical roles during their formative months – but it does call for more introspection when it comes to assessing what you want to take from your campaign.

Promoting conversions

Conversion rates are hard work at the best of times, and users can be put off by relatively low percentages of visitors completing conversions. Depending on your definition of conversion, rates typically range from around 1-3%. While these figures seem minuscule compared to the volume of interactions, impressions or traffic coming to your business, it’s important to note that if you set out to double your rate of conversions from 1% to 2% – that single digit of improvement would see your business double its sales revenue.

One of the most effective means of promoting conversions is by leveraging user-created content. Predominantly coming in the form of product reviews but carrying a few further-reaching applications, user-generated content can increase conversion rates by as much as 161%.

These figures are just as well because 68% of small businesses don’t have any form of documented or structured CRO strategy.

Target setting

Target setting when it comes to managing your conversion rates can be an excellent way of monitoring your progress and discovering which approaches yield more success.

There are hundreds of web analytics platforms out there that are designed to help users to establish their own business conversion goals in a way that monitors their progress automatically.

Google Analytics is a good tool to start with when it comes to tracking conversions.

Finteza is a good tool to set up conversion goals which are automatically updated whenever a specific conversion is registered.

If your goals are centered around customer queries and support, Intercom could be a great option to explore.

In a world that’s becoming increasingly competitive, where companies are investing astronomical sums into effective marketing campaigns to draw the attention of prospective customers, it pays to invest some time in establishing a clear range of conversion goals to help you to monitor your business’ success.

With the right range of metrics, users can establish achievable conversion goals and get incrementally notified whenever progress is made towards achieving said goal. In a world driven by metrics, it’s a great asset to keep track of where your website stands once in a while.

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The Importance Of Project Management In The Gaming Industry

Importance of project management in the gaming industry

Project management is a vital part of any successful gaming business. With the intense competition in the industry, companies need to ensure that their projects are completed on time and within budget. Project managers must plan out every step of development from concept to launch and keep a close eye on all aspects of production.

They must also be able to identify risks associated with design, technology, art direction, or other factors that can influence project success. Additionally, project managers should be able to anticipate changes in customer preferences or market trends before they become problems.

By managing projects carefully, game developers can create innovative games that make an impact on the industry without spending too much time or money doing it.

Benefits of project management in the gaming industry Better organization and coordination

Project management can help game developers stay organized while working on large projects that involve multiple teams or third-party vendors. By using project management tools such as Gantt charts and agile methodology, game developers can keep track of progress throughout the entire process from concept to launch.

Improved communication

Having good project management practices ensures that deadlines and milestones are met, tasks are tracked effectively, communication is effective between all stakeholders, and conflicts between team members or departments can be resolved quickly to keep projects moving forward smoothly.

Increased efficiency

Project management can help gaming companies more effectively manage resources, timelines, and budgets to ensure that the highest possible quality product is delivered on time. It also allows game developers to focus on producing a great game experience instead of dealing with project management details such as budgeting or resource allocation. Project management helps reduce development costs by providing visibility into which steps are consuming more resources than others so they can be addressed in order to increase efficiency.

Challenges faced in the gaming industry Tight deadlines

With so many players in the gaming industry, companies are under constant pressure to stay ahead of the curve by developing innovative products and services that meet customer demands. This requires game developers to be agile when it comes to creating content quickly in order to compete with other games on the market.

Additionally, there is a need for quality assurance testing processes which require time and resources to ensure that all bugs are fixed before launch. As such, tight deadlines can create a lot of stress on game developers as they try to deliver high-quality experiences within limited timelines.

Complex development process

Developing video games is a difficult, time-consuming, and expensive process. The sheer amount of work it takes to create a game from concept to completion is immense, with developers needing to coordinate across multiple disciplines such as art design, programming, and sound engineering. This complexity can be daunting for even the most experienced teams, leading to costly delays or worse yet unexpected costs.

Competition: There are hundreds of thousands of games available in app stores alone and competition in the gaming industry has never been greater. Developers must constantly strive to differentiate their projects from other titles while also creating something that gamers will want to play and purchase.

With shorter development cycles than ever before this means dev teams are under even more pressure than usual when creating a game that stands out amongst all the rest.

Best practices for project management in the gaming industry Adopting agile methodologies

Agile processes allow developers to quickly adjust and adapt based on customer feedback, ultimately resulting in better products. Additionally, having a clear plan of action that outlines goals, tasks, and deadlines can help ensure that progress is made efficiently. Teams should also utilize project management tools such as Trello or Jira to keep track of their work and stay organized throughout the development process.

Finally, communication between developers and publishers must be open and honest in order for projects to stay on track – meetings should be held regularly so everyone remains aligned with current objectives. By following these best practices for project management, teams can create games that are both innovative and successful!

Maintaining open communication channels

It’s essential to ensure that stakeholders, developers, and producers all understand what needs to be done and when it needs to be done. This includes providing clear timelines and expectations for game development milestones, communication protocols for resolving conflicts or disputes among parties involved in a project, as well as best practices for financial reporting and budgeting.

Additionally, having an effective risk mitigation plan is also critical when managing projects in the gaming industry. Understanding potential risks such as technological breakdowns or increased costs can help prevent costly mistakes from occurring during production.

Having contingency plans should something go wrong is key to staying on track with a project’s timeline without compromising quality or incurring excessive expenses.

Case studies of successful project management in the gaming industry The development of Minecraft

Mojang, the company behind Minecraft, was able to successfully develop and release a game that has become one of the most popular in gaming history. The key to their success was effective planning and execution from start to finish.

They outlined their goals, then allocated resources accordingly to ensure they had all the necessary components for a successful launch. They also established and maintained clear communication channels between team members throughout development.

This allowed them to quickly address any problems that arose during production, ensuring deadlines were met on time each step of the way. All these elements combined ultimately led to the commercial success that is Minecraft today!

Conclusion

Project management is an essential component of the gaming industry. It helps to keep teams organized and focused on their goals, and achieve optimal results within a certain timeframe. Project managers have an important role in the success of projects in this sector as they are responsible for planning, organizing, coordinating resources, and overseeing the development process from start to finish.

They ensure that all milestones are achieved on time and with quality craftsmanship. By utilizing project management techniques, organizations can create highly engaging games that provide players with enjoyable experiences while staying profitable.

Cd Projekt Highlights The Importance Of Tolerance

In a recent interview with the Polish newspaper, Rzeczpospolita, CD Projekt’s Adam Badowski and Adam Kiciński gave their take on some important issues.

They spoke out about the need for mutual respect and tolerance and the impact on creative work and diversity in the video game industry. They also spoke a little on how these values are making their way into the much-anticipated Cyberpunk 2077.

We’ve covered some of the key points of the interview, but you can read the whole thing on CD Projekt’s website.

Why CD Projekt Speaks Out About Social Issues

On issues like race and LGBTQ rights, more and more companies are coming out in support of diversity and acceptance.

When asked why they were speaking out on social issues, Adam Kiciński said:

“Because these are important matters. People come to CD PROJEKT not just to earn a living. Our business has always been rooted in a specific system of values.”

“We pride ourselves on our diversity, but we also realize that efficient operation requires active measures promoting mutual respect and tolerance.”

Openness, Tolerance, and Creativity

Badowski and Kiciński suggest that openness and tolerance aren’t just important for a fairer society, but are crucial to the creative process too.

“There is strong correlation between openness to “the other” and its effect on creativity and motivation. In my opinion this results mainly from an increased feeling of security. In an environment where you can simply be yourself it becomes easier to have frank discussions, share ideas and express opinions — and that provides a starting point for many interesting activities.”

Part of CD Projekt Group’s philosophy and aims states:

“We stand for tolerance. We combat all forms of racism, homophobia and xenophobia, as we believe tolerance is the foundation of creativity and innovation.”

Tolerance in CD Projekt Red’s Video Games

The Witcher

Badowski highlighted that The Witcher books have strong anti-racist undertones and that the video games try to reflect this.

“In his literature Andrzej Sapkowski has dealt with racism in a fairly harsh manner. Much like his books, the video games acknowledge the antagonism between humans and “non-humans”, i.e. elves, dwarves etc. Our games depict the consequences of stigmatizing otherness, reveal the link between social inequality and xenophobic sentiment, and show what humans are capable of when they believe they can act with impunity.”

Cyberpunk 2077

Cyberpunk 2077 got everyone’s attention not long ago with regard to the gender fluidity of the characters.

Players won’t be able to pick male or female, but rather a body type instead. Different aspects such as body type, hairstyles, voices, and clothes can be mixed and matched. This means that players aren’t tied down by binary gender choices.

Marthe Jonkers, lead concept artist on Cyberpunk 2077 said:

“We want you to feel free to create any character you want. So we really want to give people the freedom to make their own character and play the way they want to play.”

Diversity in the Video Games Industry

Badowski and Kiciński suggest that the video games industry is ahead of the curve when compared to other industries.

“We learn a lot from the shortcomings and accomplishments of our colleagues from the motion picture, literature and music industries, and I suppose we may be faster at implementing certain novel mechanisms.”

This doesn’t mean that the video game industry is perfect by any means. However, Kiciński went on to say that steps were being taken in the right direction.

“Yes, there are other problems, such as sexualization of female characters, but they are discussed in the open and bold steps are being taken to mitigate them.”

Sexual orientation is another thing that video games have been addressing for a while. This is something that other forms of media have been a bit more hesitant to explore.

“Sexual orientation is in a similar position. What had long been taboo in mainstream motion pictures is now turning what it should have been from the outset: stories of human romance rather than accounts of the struggle for the right to be accepted.”

It’s great that companies are increasingly open about change and tolerance. We hope that more companies within the gaming community take note.

Like most of us, we can’t wait to see what Cyberpunk 2077 will be like. Cyberpunk 2077 is due for release on November 19th, 2023 on PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Google Stadia.

The Importance Of Dynamic Rendering With Geoff Atkinson

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For episode 189 of The Search Engine Journal Show, I had the opportunity to interview Geoff Atkinson, Founder and CEO, Huckabuy.

Atkinson talks about dynamic rendering, how it helps search engines index JavaScript websites faster, and who can benefit from this solution.

What is dynamic rendering?

Geoff Atkinson (GA): Dynamic rendering is probably the biggest change Google’s made in maybe 10 years.

For them to actually offer, “we’ll crawl something that’s different than what the user experience is now, content and data all need to match up,” that’s big change for them.

For years they were like, “you have to have the user experience be the same thing.”

Brent Csutoras (BC): For context, anything that was different previously was considered cloaking. Right?

GA: Correct. So dynamic rendering, it’s actually a pretty straightforward concept. It started with the difference between a mobile device and a desktop.

All it means is that our URL will render differently or dynamically based on what calls it.

So if you call a webpage from your mobile device, you’re going to get one experience.

If you call one from your desktop, you’re going to get a slightly different one.

Their big change was they said, well, now you can actually give a version for us.

And really, the reason for that is around the amount of JavaScript and front end dynamic technologies that have made it difficult for them to crawl and understand a site.

They basically said, “Here’s a way for us to keep it simple. Give us a simplified version and we’ll be able to crawl and index that much more efficiently than what the user’s experiencing.”

What would be an example of what dynamic rendering would actually do?

GA: I’d say the most famous JavaScript thing that really makes Google get caught up while crawling is actually chat boxes, personalization, tracking tags that are dynamic.

As soon as they hit JavaScript, they simply can’t crawl it with their HTML crawler. And so it goes to a rendering queue and a rendering queue takes quite a bit more processing time.

And a rendering queue is literally the same technology as your Chrome browser.

It’s just executing a page fully, allowing them to come in and actually crawl that dynamic content and it takes more processing time, so if you can strip that stuff out in a dynamically rendered version.

What are the other things that dynamic rendering will do for somebody’s website that they might not get otherwise?

GA: [Y]ou could have all the content resources in the world, but if Google can’t see that actual content, what good is it doing? So we see that a lot.

I think companies have bigger indexation issues than they have any idea because it’s kind of hard. You see the crawl stats, right? And you’re like, “Oh, they’re crawling me, I’m good.”

And you see that they’re downloading information but you don’t really know exactly what they’re downloading and how much of it, are they actually accessing the stuff that you’re working on.

All those problems just get eliminated. You get almost instantaneous, all the content is being indexed and content affects rankings and rankings affect traffic.

You get a huge, pretty significant benefit if the site is pretty heavy and JavaScripts are difficult to crawl.

All of a sudden they’re going to become privy to all this new information in a very short amount of time and that’s actually going to impact rankings and traffic and all those other good things.

Why do you think the SEO community as a whole is kind of not really embraced this or that it’s not on every site?

GA: Yeah, I find that shocking. But if we just sort of take a step back and we look at marketing departments and their general skillset, like even SEO groups sometimes aren’t the most technical.

So if you think of a marketing organization, their skill set is really not technical SEO, that’s the last thing that they’re going to get to, right?

They don’t have developers working on SEO, very rarely.

And it’s a very technical problem, so you can throw tons of resources that content and link building and all those sort of more straight forward tasks and not even fully understand or fully recognize the technical problems that you have because you just don’t have that skillset on the team.

And we see that almost happen everywhere. Like even if they’re working with an agency or whoever, that technical skill set is so rare…

Within our little community it’s big, right?

But for when you step into a big internal marketing team, there’s just no one there that speaks that language.

So, I think that’s the reason is that it’s such a different hat to wear as a marketer getting into technical SEO versus managing your PPC spend or your content team or branding and messaging or social.

It’s just a totally different skillset and it’s usually missing, so I think that’s kind of why it hasn’t been adopted as quickly as we would like.

On technical SEO initiatives: how could SEOs connect and convince the developers?

GA: I think about almost every organization, think about just the SEOs you talked to and whether they feel empowered or it’s a bottleneck getting through development and it’s almost always a bottleneck…

It is like an organizational mindset that you have to get in.

Do you feel like everybody needs to have dynamic rendering?

GA: I’d say probably 60% of sites out there need it, which is a lot.

And then there’s 40% where it’s like, it’d be a nice-to-have, but it’s not going to blow your socks off.

Like you’re getting enough, it’s a really small site, maybe there’s only a hundred pages index so Google can get through it. The site doesn’t change that much.

There’s just not as much upside as some of these larger sites that are more complicated that Google is really struggling to understand them.

So there are a good number of sites that don’t necessarily need it.

Everybody could benefit, but what we find is about 60% of the internet, like really could use this solution.

Think about the number of JavaScript things that are included by business owners on their websites without thinking at all about what this does for Google crawling.

And then, of course, they’re going to be like, “Yeah, we want personalization and we want chat boxes,” and so they just throw it on there.

Meanwhile, it makes Google’s job like impossible…

What does it look like to implement dynamic rendering?

GA: So the first piece, how to do it on your own.

The crux of dynamic rendering is really the conversion of your dynamic content into flat HTML. The technical challenge is to be able to do that.

If you have content being generated through JavaScript that is important for your rankings and you want Google to be aware of it, being able to convert that into flat HTML and leveraging some sort of CDN (like Cloudflare, CloudFront or Akamai) to be able to basically load that information up really quickly and eliminate literally all the JavaScript on the page, that’s how you kind of have to go.

It’s doable for sure. We actually see some companies doing it in house, it’s kind of hard to do in house, but we see it happening.

The second piece is automation.

We’ve built that converter… we don’t actually have to have any developer look at your site. They don’t have to log in and do a bunch of work.

You literally make a DNS change and then Huckabuy takes over the bot traffic and we create this dynamic rendered version through SEO Cloud that’s flat HTML.

We have a partnership with CloudFlare that allows us to keep all this information at edge. You kind of hear that term now being used at edge SEO.

So at edge basically means it’s pre-cached and located all around the world in 200 different locations so that no matter where a bot is coming in from, they get this really lightweight and cached page…

This podcast is brought to you by Ahrefs and Opteo.

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Image Credits

Featured Image: Paulo Bobita

The Importance Of Technical Seo For Lead Generation

Technical SEO involves practices to optimize the technical elements of a website to rank them in search engines. Site owners often ignore technical SEO. It may be because they don’t know how it helps in SEO or find it too hard to follow. In reality, Technical SEO is pretty impactful for SEO and Lead generation. In fact, without it, you don’t even have a chance to rank or generate a single lead.

Promotes Error-free Link Building

Link building is the process of receiving links from other websites. It is a seal of confidence provided by other websites about your content. It tells Google that they trust your content.

When people use your content’s information, they will highlight the information or phrases with hyperlinks linking to your site. This link points from their site to your site is called link building.

This is why a weekly purge of backlinks is necessary. With technical SEO tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, and Search Console, you can identify and block those links. Although removing them completely is recommended, it’s hard to find and reach the site owner, especially those running low-quality or malicious sites.

Search engines consider links as a measure to measure the credibility and relevance of your site. Acquiring links from highly authoritative sites can improve your site’s visibility. This will let more potential customers land on your page. 

Usually, google assigns you a rank in a couple of keywords. If people landing from those keywords engages with your websites, google will start assigning more keywords to your site on the rank page. As your number grows, your visitors, including potential customers, will also increase.

It Makes Your Site Discoverable to Search Engines and Users

When you publish content or create a new page, search engines’ crawlers crawl your webpage. They do that to inspect it, check all the links on your site, and understand what your site is all about. After that, they index the site in the search engine. This is how your site appears in the SERP, and users discover it.

The role of technical SEO is to make your site crawlable and indexable. It fixes all the coding and linking errors hampering crawlers from entering your site. 

It Improves Your Page Loading Speed

The page loading speed of a site plays a significant role in search engine ranking. Although not directly but indirectly. As you know, google creates its ranking algorithm to improve users’ experience. Anything that can ruin a user experience is considered harmful to search results ranking. 

Technical SEO Involves Steps that can Improve Your Site’s Page Loading Speed

This involves steps like −

Implementing lazy loading

Using compressed images

Removing unnecessary Scripts

Using lightweight codes

It Improves Site Structure

Finding your site (crawling and indexing) is not the only thing search engines do when they get to your site. They look for your site’s structure to understand its content. A good site structure can have a positive impact on your lead-generation efforts. 

The structure of your site determines how users interact when they land on it. If your visitors like interacting with your site, they will likely make a purchase. At least they will subscribe to your newsletter. If they like your products, they may add them to their cart.

More engagement means more credibility and less bounce rate. This further tells search engines that your site content is up to the mark as users spend time making transactions. As a result, search engines will increase your site’s search ranking and drive more traffic and lead.

Technical SEO makes it easier for you to add an engaging, resource-friendly, and easy-to-follow structure. For example, lazy loading saves many resources and increases page loading speed. 

In lazy loading, the images and other data-heavy elements load as per the users’ requirements. The images only load when you scroll down to a specific spot. This is also known as ‘infinite scroll.’ This picture is helpful when you have a large number of images on your page. 

Conclusion

Finally, by utilizing technical SEO, businesses can create a more efficient customer journey that can optimize all aspects of their marketing strategy from start to finish. Technical SEO should thus remain an integral part of any successful lead generation effort.

Chimps Can Gesticulate With The Best Of Them

Social club. Eric Kilby / Wikimedia Commons

Pointing seems pretty basic. You’ve probably been doing it since you were a baby. But not every animal is as gesturally gifted as you.

Just look at cats: you can point at a bird all you want, but the cat’s not going to look if it hasn’t already noticed its potential prey. And that’s not just because felines are ornery creatures that want to prove they’re too good for us. It’s because gestures like pointing are actually quite sophisticated and abstract. We’re one of only a few species that can encode meaning in gestures.

Go ahead and guess which other animals do it. If your first guess was “other great apes,” give yourself a gold star. If your second guess was “ravens,” go ahead and take a platinum star. So far, those are pretty much the only two groups that can use gestures to communicate ideas. Apes in captivity point quite a bit, though it’s less common in wild apes, and a new study in the journal Biology Letters shows that chimpanzees don’t just point at things—they can encode distance, too.

That doesn’t sound impressive, I know. You know that when someone extends their finger farther, that means the object they’re referencing is a greater distance away. If that’s too abstract to put into words, try it right now. Point to something a few feet away from you. Now point at something far enough away that it’s almost out of sight. You probably reached farther the second time, because we can pack two levels of information into that gesture: the idea that we want someone to direct their attention toward something, and whether the object we’re referencing is especially near or far.

This study is the first to show that chimps are capable of including that distance component in their gestures—but they don’t necessarily do it the same way we do. Humans reach farther out to indicate distance; apes reach higher. When the chimp study subjects tried to communicate with a human partner about food that was placed far away, they held their hands up higher off the ground. Food that was close by was metaphorically lower. They also seemed to hold their mouths open wider to indicate distance, but that association wasn’t quite statistically significant.

The fact that the chimps didn’t do all this gesticulating while alone in the room is key. A hand motion made in isolation generally isn’t meant to communicate anything—there’s no one to communicate with. If chimps only gesture in the presence of a human, that indicates the movement is deliberately communicative.

And they may have learned it from us.

Chimps living in the wild may not point, but they do have some gestures. They use itching to indicate to one another where they should scratch or groom. Again, that might sound really basic. But think about how impressed you’d be if your dog used its paw to show you exactly where it wanted to be scratched. You’d be blown away, because most animals just don’t do that. Chimps do.

Humans take the whole thing to the next level. We don’t just encode distance in a gesture, we can also encode time. For most people who speak languages that are read from left to right, “tomorrow” is located to the right. Folks who read from right to left or top to bottom also see the next day as sitting in whatever direction a sentence generally terminates. And intriguingly, the few remaining cultures without any writing system at all don’t tend to have a specific direction associated with the days to come.

We’re almost all united by our sense of where the broader future is. When gesturing towards it, most people see the future as stretching out in front of them. But the Aymara people of the Andes think that it’s behind you, because it’s still hidden—whereas the past is easy to see, and therefore right in front of you.

There’s still obviously a lot to learn about chimp gestures. Do they use distance encoding in the wild, too? Can they learn to encode other ideas? And when will they learn to give someone the bird? Only time—and more research—can tell.

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