Friday, March 14, 2008

The Return of the Semantic Web

About a month ago, I blogged on how the semantic web was having a hard time getting any traction. I mentioned then that the Reuters News Agency was starting to endorse it. Now it appears that Yahoo is also starting to embrace the semantic web through the announcement that they will begin to parse certain microformats with their search engine. Perhaps it is premature to count the semantic web as DOA. I hope so.

Some of you may have noticed that, technically speaking, microformats are not really a part of the semantic web specifications. To me, the semantic web is all about marking up content in a machine understandable way such that the semantic context of searchable content is also specified and searchable.

As the project leader for an open source content publishing system, this is great news for me. I would love to add RDF Site Summary and microformat support to improve the SEO features of this project. There is no reason to add these features unless the popular search engines start using them. I wish that Google would make a definitive announcement of what microformats and/or RSS modules that their search engine would support. Right now, it appears that they are supporting hCard, hAtom, XFN and FOAF.

What is your opinion on this? If you are a content publisher, then what SEO enhancement features and formats would you like to see in your software? The most viable contenders seem to me at this time to be hCard, hCalendar, FOAF, and DC.

No comments: