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Darwin’s Theory of Natural Rejection – Clarity Lab Issue 85
Holy moly does the world feel crazy right now, eh? School is starting, Delta is spreading like crazy, Afghanistan is in chaos, climate change induced fires and floods are happening all around, and there’s no new seasons of Game of Thrones to look forward to. It’s a mess. At least once in a while we could escape to Westeros for an hour and forget about everything back in real life.
Such is life. While I’m admittedly not as entertaining as Jon Snow fighting the wights beyond The Wall, you and I can at least focus on some things that can help your business life for a few minutes here, so let’s go…
Darwin’s Theory of Natural Rejection
Speaking of games, the game of search engine optimization has gotten more complex and challenging over the past couple of years. Back in the easier days of SEO, the goal was to get a piece of your site’s content ranked within the top four organic results for a given keyword. That was the goal because roughly 85% of all clicks in search results go to the top three or four results.
Google and other search engines have changed the rules of the game, though. They’re now filling the first page of search results with rich elements like the “people also ask” box, a video results carousel, event listings, FAQ boxes, “how to” boxes, local business boxes, and on and on down the page until you start seeing a few organic search results.
Why is Google doing this? Well, the first page of search engine results is Google’s product. It’s how they make money. They’re taking over the real estate of the first page of results to try and provide users with the most efficient way to answer their questions while they also make as much money as possible.
And as Jason Barnard at Search Engine Journal explains, to get a piece of your content on the first page of the search engine results pages (SERPs) these days, you have to remember this fact that the first page of search results is Google’s product. If you want your content to show up there, you have to package your content so that it fits the context of the rich elements that Google is filling that first page with. If you don’t do that, the Google algorithm will banish your content to the second page (or worse) and you won’t get any search traffic.
And this whole game? Is what Barnard calls Darwinism and Google’s SERPs as product. Even if you’re new to SEO, I still recommend reading that article, because this one concept is now part of the basics of getting to the first page of SERPs. If nothing else, seeing Darwin’s name in the same sentence as search engine optimization should give you pause. The artificial intelligence that is Google’s search algorithm…it’s…evolving rapidly.
Things That Make You Go Hmmm
“You’re never going to get rich renting out your time.” ~Naval Ravikant
Naval is one of my favorite treasure troves of pithy wisdom. His book, The Almanac of Naval Ravikant, is one of my top 3 reads of the last year. In this article, Eva Keiffenheim summarizes five of the many principles Naval writes about in his book and Tweetstorms. Naval’s skill at writing a few words that can stop you in your tracks and make you reconsider your entire path as an entrepreneur is unparalleled. As you know, I’m jealous of anyone who can write short. It’s just so hard for me to stop typing when I get paid by the word, you know?
There Are Twenty of Fish In The Sea
Take an honest look at the business you’re running and ask yourself: “Am I doing work that only Ican do?”
If what you’re doing can easily be replicated by someone else, the security of your income is at risk. If competitors can do what you’re doing, you’ll find yourself in a red ocean, battling against many competitor’s ships and leaving the water all around you red with the blood of failed ideas. (Wow…that’s a bit overly dramatic.)
But if you find work in the world that only you can do, you can build a high-margin, highly defensible monopoly, even if you’re a solopreneur or small business owner. Do that and you’ll find yourself in a blue ocean with few, if any, competitors.
Great. Sounds easy, eh? Well, the problem is, it’s not. From Taylor Pearson’s perspective, you first have to find the work that only you can do. A key step in the process of finding it: use Pareto’s 80/20 rule to find the things you’re good at that create most of your income. Pareto’s principle…you know…the one that says that 20% of the things you read in someone’s newsletter generates 80% of your life changing business insights.
A Seat In The ClassZoom
In recent issues of this newsletter I’ve shed some light on the rise in popularity of live cohort-based courses. The concept is solid. Live cohort-based courses solve a big problem with self-paced online courses, which is this: on average, less than 5% of the people who buy a self-paced multimedia course from you will finish going through all it. (Which means that most of the people who buy your self-paced course will never see the last few modules worth of course content. That’s why I always wear a bear costume for those last few videos. It makes it easy to tell who actually got through to the end of the course.) Live courses, however, are seeing around 85% completion rates without the need for bear costumes.
Live cohort-based learning is essentially old school “sit in a classroom with other people and learn” but in an environment where students can be all over the world in the same virtual space (which, for now, means a group Zoom call). But what does it look like to go from an idea for a live course to actually running your first one? Adam Keesling takes us on a tour inside his process of doing just this.
Ready Learner One
File this under “things to keep an eye on”: The Metaverse. It’s hard to walk 10 feet on the internet without bumping into someone talking about the metaverse. The term itself comes from the popular sci-fi novel Snow Crash, and was made even more popular in the book and movie Ready Player One.
If you’re not familiar with what the metaverse is, James Batchelor, editor-in-chief of the Games Industry site, dives into the topic here, exploring why so many companies are putting so much money into creating products that will become part of the metaverse.
Why am I watching the metaverse topic so closely? Because the collision of online learning, the metaverse, and cryptocurrency coins is going to radically alter the way we can teach, and make money, in the coming metaverse.
I think it will be such a radical change that the line between offline and online learning will blur. There will just be a new reality, and for some learning experiences, you’ll need to wear a certain kind of glasses, VR goggles, or contact lenses to be a part of the learning experience that will happen in a virtual space. Oh yes, I said “contact lenses.” I’m not kidding. When this tech goes mainstream we’ll look back on our iphones as “quaint little gadgets.”
The opportunities for those who jump first into offering metaverse learning experiences will be enormous. I’ll be there wearing my Matrix Neo avatar body teaching a course about how to teach a course in the metaverse. Ohhh, it will be so meta.
Until next time, my password is password.