Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Google, Microsoft, Yahoo Back Search Metadata Project

InformationWeek (06/03/11) Thomas Claburn

Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo! recently launched schema.org, an initiative aimed at creating and supporting common ways to represent Web page metadata. The project will offer Web publishers the tools needed to make Web pages easier for search engines to understand. "With schema.org, site owners can improve how their sites appear in search results not only on Google, but on Bing, Yahoo!, and potentially other search engines as well in the future," says Google fellow Ramanathan Guha. Schema.org hosts definitions for HTML tags that Webmasters can use for data markup. Schema.org is similar to sitemaps.org, an XML-based schema that helps search engines navigate Web sites, which was created by Google in 2005 and subsequently supported by Microsoft and Yahoo!. Schema.org solves some of the limitations of automated data analysis. "Automated data extraction is great when it works, but it can be error prone because different sites can represent the same information in so many different ways," according to the schema.org Web site.