The ‘Semantic Web’ is not nearly as hot of a topic as it was a few years ago, but if you remember, some of the efforts being made back in the old days (2008?) had to do with embedding semantic identifiers into regular old HTML. The two examples that come to mind are RDFa and Microformats. I haven’t heard a lot of buzz about embedded ‘linked data’ in HTML lately, but I heard today that a new project, called schema.org has been launched to enable developers to add markup to sites which will help search services glean meaning from markup. Apparently, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo! are all on board with this project.
I guess we should call this Keywords 2.0
Anyway, they have a whole taxonomy of ‘things’ laid out. Check out “The Type Hierarchy” page. A great start.
I guess this means that a lot of SEO people are gonna start getting work again. It’ll be interesting to me to see if people start actually putting this stuff into their CMSs. I suspect not. I suspect that the kinds of companies that have such rich data that they can just rebuild the hooks they use as their apps render HTML will already be benefitting enough in organic search that they wont find a need to actually clutter up their code with this stuff. I mean I find it very unlikely that a site like Disney’s would get out-ranked by some spammer because the spammer used these newer HTML attributes.
Then again, the fact that the major players are on board with this makes me wonder if there isn’t a reason that’s profitable to search companies to finally start getting rid of all the garbage from SERPs. Touch-screen finger fatigue? Even so, it’s all the damn spammers in eastern Europe that’ll have the resources to recode everything, at least in the near future.
Above all, I’m glad to see any attempt at making information more granular. And deep down, I still want the universal distributed database we were all so excited about back in web2.0 when the semantic web seemed like it was on the horizon, before facebook and the mobile app-o-sphere took over.
What do we call this current era? The API-o-sphere? The Walled-garden-o-sphere? Maybe we should just call it Facebook.
Intrigued and disappointed at the same time.