If you are an average Internet user, you have probably never heard about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or link building. They are techniques used by web content creators in order to be the first results of a traditional search engine, such as Google or Bing.
Given that today on the Internet, there are 3 million new blog posts every 24 hours, the probability for new (and not so new) players to be on top of the results is extremely low, even if their content is considered as high quality (this happens often with scientific papers, dissertations, lectures, universities’ databases, etc…).
Wikipedia is the only educational tool that has gained a considerable traction thanks to their modus operandi: anyone can contribute and improve the content that is being shared. Wikipedia currently has 30 million articles in 287 languages, and it is improved every second.
Thus, for the educators that are pioneering and giving a lot of their free time to build great content for people that don’t have the resources to pay for it, the real barrier is not the content creation but to be “findable” among the ocean of information that has become the Internet. This barrier can help enhance the creation of content that fills what students want, not what they really NEED to understand and digest the educational message educators want to deliver. They might be tempted to forget that It’s all About Quality, Not Quantity!
SEO is therefore hurting the quality of the educational content created and read on the Internet, results are flooded with lots of SEO techniques, stunting their educational benefit in order to sell something.
The ideal solution to such a problem would be the democratization of content. Currently, traditional search engines have a “global rank” for all the pages they index. The concept of content democratization is not to rank the pages (they are all born the same), but the affinities between interests and passions of each student and the ones from the educators. This means that a student that loves conceptual photography, will find more easily content created by educators that also love conceptual photography, no matter if they are popular or not.
This concept is being developed by a start-up born in France: Noosfeer. Their philosophy relies on the people, their passion of different things, and that the most popular and viral option is not necessarily the best. They want to help educators get discovered by a larger audience and enhance the educational process, improving the e-learning experience.
The students and educators that use Noosfeer as an e-learning tool, have instant access to the content they really want to see and furthermore content that is not contaminated by SEO techniques use by marketers trying to sell stuff. The connections created are hence stronger and the learning experience a lot more personal.
Have you had a hard time trying to find quality information on traditional search engines? Let us know on the comments.