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Re: Google's rich snippets and support for RDFa and microformats

From: Shelley Powers <shelleyp@burningbird.net>
Date: Tue, 12 May 2009 16:53:39 -0500
Message-ID: <4A09EFE3.50205@burningbird.net>
To: public-html@w3.org
Smylers wrote:
> Shelley Powers writes:
>
>   
>> Yahoo's SearchMonkey makes use of microformats and RDFa, but now, so  
>> does Google with its "rich snippets".
>>     
>
> Hi there.  For those of us not familar with these features, could you
> possibly expand on this -- what are SearchMonkey and rich snippets, and
> what does RDF enable them to do?  Thanks.
>
> Smylers
>
>
>   
SearchMonkey is Yahoo's development platform that consumes eRDF, RDFa, 
and microformats, and allows queries based on this data. It's a lot 
more, but this is the aspect of the tool related to this discussion. You 
can read more about the RDFa aspect of SearchMonkey at 
http://developer.yahoo.com/searchmonkey/smguide/faq.html.

Google Rich Snippets were released as part of a Google announcement 
today about several major changes to the search engine. All of it is 
alpha/beta right now, but supposedly some of it will be live before end 
of week.

A good source on all of the Google announcements is Danny Sullivan's 
live blog, at 
http://searchengineland.com/live-blogging-google-searchology-19032. 
Google also has an announcement page at the Google blog, at 
http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/05/more-search-options-and-other-updates.html. 
O'Reilly has a couple of articles on the functionality, too, at 
http://radar.oreilly.com/2009/05/google-adds-microformat-parsin.html and 
http://radar.oreilly.com/2009/05/google-announces-support-for-m.html.

With the Rich Snippet technology, Google is now consuming microformats 
and RDFa in order to provide more specific information with search 
results, based on the metadata markup. Right now, the company is using 
its own vocabulary, which matches microformats, because all the data is 
being merged and managed using the same functionality. However, Google 
has said, through one of the articles, that will gradually increase the 
number of vocabularies it uses.

What's important about both of these, in addition to the other 
applications that consume RDFa, and microformats, is that it encourages 
more people to make use of these metadata annotation techniques in their 
web sites. Combining this with the fact that Drupal 7 will support RDFa, 
out of the box, ensures that RDFa is a viable metadata annotation 
technique--it's not one that's going away.

Pretty exciting stuff for the RDF community. Microformats community, too.

Shelley
Received on Tuesday, 12 May 2009 21:54:24 UTC

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