Death of the search engine

by Fred Showker

Search engines leading us down the wrong tracks For some time I've complained about the state of online search. Most everyone online are all about search engine optimization (SEO), but in my opinion, the SEO operators have ruined internet searching. Some segments of society are suffering for it!

These days is nearly impossible to find specific information. In test searches, Google rarely deliveres 'acceptable' results -- and then, usually only in paid listings. Google wants you to click the paid listings by deliverying duds as results for the first couple of pages. This has had a negative impact on resource research and other non-commercial searching. Recent survey results show an urgent need for more targeted results when searching online for learning resources - findings validate the need for a standard tagging schema for educational materials. Then this article appears ...

We need a search engine overhaul

Educators need faster ways to find the resources they are looking for and resource providers want better discoverability on the Internet, according to results from recent surveys conducted by the Learning Resource Metadata Initiative (LRMI). The LRMI, co-led by the Association of Educational Publishers (AEP) and Creative Commons, aims to improve online search for learning resources by creating a standard markup language for identifying educational content on the web. The surveys, designed to gather feedback from both educators and resource providers about the current state of online educational search, are an important step in identifying the needs of all stakeholders impacted by the LRMI.

Of the educators surveyed, more than 7 in 10 (72.6%) said they search for instructional resources on the Internet at least several times a week, with 25.8% stating they search daily. Sixty-six percent of educators said they get many "irrelevant results" and 9 in 10 said they would be more satisfied with Internet searches if search engines offered the ability to filter results by standard instructional criteria such as grade level, subject area, and media type.

Nearly half (46.4%) of educational publishers and resource providers responding to the survey said they are either "dissatisfied" or "somewhat dissatisfied" with the current online visibility of their products and more than half (57.1%) stated that their customers find it "difficult" or "somewhat difficult" to find their content and products when conducting online searches. Nearly 2 in 3 publishers (65%) agreed that they would either definitely implement or be "highly likely" to implement a new standard for tagging online educational resources if discoverability would improve.

Educators and publishers agreed that the most important search criteria for educational resources would be (1) content/subject area, (2) grade level, and (3) standards alignment.

Charlene Gaynor, CEO of AEP said

Quoting  begins The results of both surveys are clear: the sheer vastness of the Internet makes it increasingly difficult for educators to easily find the resources they need, and publishers are unhappy with the online visibility of their content ... The LRMI specification will allow all types of learning resources to be tagged to a common framework and facilitate searching with greater accuracy and efficiency for improved learning outcomes. Quoting  ends

AEP Complete survey data will be available in mid-summer 2012. For more information on the Learning Resource Metadata Initiative, please visit


The only professional organization that serves the diverse needs of the entire educational resource community, the Association of Educational Publishers (AEP) encourages and advocates for professional, quality content for teaching and learning. The membership of AEP represents the wide range of individuals, institutions, and businesses dedicated to delivering progressive learning resources in all media and for any educational setting. Founded in 1895, AEP now helps its members navigate the global realities of educational publishing in the 21st Century.

AEP is at the forefront of the educational publishing industry, leading initiatives that help drive the future of content development and delivery. It has taken a leading role in many efforts supporting the industry, including the Learning Resource Metadata Initiative (LRMI), which is changing the way educational materials are found on the Internet; Innovation Through Inclusion, promoting industry-wide diversity; and representation of educational publishers on matters such as new legislation and funding. Through its events, publications, and recognition programs, AEP works to inform and advance the industry and to define and applaud excellence in the field. For more information, please visit

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