Semantic SEO

Hotels, SEO, and the Semantic Web

In a recent article for 4Hoteliers, Vikram Singh has offered some advice to the hotel industry about how to improve SEO, hinting at the use of Semantic Technology. Curiously, Singh never mentions schema.org or structured data markup. Here’s what he does say: “Hotel search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most debated online marketing techniques in our industry; that’s because its efficacy is hard to prove, and techniques have to constantly change to outmaneuver Google’s updates. Google maintains strict control and secrecy about how they manage and update their search engine results pages. Of course, there are guidelines posted on their Webmaster Central product, and a few utterances here and there. This leaves the floor open for some serious speculation… Cue in the SEO ‘experts.’ I am not an SEO expert, nor have I played one on TV. But I am definitely a trained SEO observer who has been in the industry for a decade, and a huge fan of web analytics and data-driven decision making.” Read more

The Semantic Web Benefits Local Business

David Amerland of Business2Community reports, “The web may be global but its effects are felt most acutely at a local level. While there have always been businesses that targeted a global market the bulk of business today are brick and mortar stores with a web presence or online businesses that have a local presence. Either way search that delivers global results when all you wanted to find was a pizza joint in your neighborhood is, understandably, less than satisfying. Thankfully search is changing. In the transition from Boolean search with its statistical text analysis properties to semantic search that uses ontology libraries to ascribe meaning to things Google has moved in what it famously calls “from strings to things”. The effects of the transition are noticed in two things that are part of the same phenomenon: First the fragmentation of search and second its intense personalization.” Read more

Semantic Search, Semantic Web, & Semantic SEO Defined

Amanda DiSilvestro of Search Engine Journal recently wrote, “Small businesses have been hearing a lot lately about the semantic web, and how that of course comes with semantic search, which then has to come with semantic SEO. So to make a long story short, if you don’t understand what the term ‘semantic’ means in these contexts, you’ve got some work to do. Fortunately, understanding semantics in relation to the web is actually quite simple, and for many these is already a part of your daily routine. It isn’t a new concept, just one that has recently gained some traction. Being able to understand how these terms differ is important because it can help you better understand how search works and how you can make sure your information is getting in front of a relevant audience.” Read DiSilvestro’s definitions here. Read more

Google Debuts Data Highlighter: An Easy Way Into Structured Data

Structured data makes the Web go around. Search engines love it when webmasters mark up page content. Google’s rich snippets, for instance, leverages sites’ use of microdata (preferred format), or RDFa or microformats: It makes it possible to highlight in a few lines specific types of content in search results, to give users some insight about what’s on the page and its relationship to their queries – prep time for a recipe, for instance.

Plenty of web sites generated from structured data haven’t added HTML markup to their pages, though, so they aren’t getting the benefits that come with search engines understanding the information on those web pages.

Maybe that will change, now that Google has introduced Data Highlighter, an easy way to tell its search engine about the structured data behind their web pages. A video posted by Google product management director Jack Menzel gives the snapshot: “Data Highlighter is a point- and-click tool that allows any webmaster to show Google the patterns of structured data on their pages without modifying the pages themselves,” he says.

Read more

New “Linked Data” Book Launches – 50% Discount for Our Readers

Cover of Linked Data book by David Wood et alThis week, Manning Publications is launching the book “Linked Data,” by David Wood, Marsha Zaidman, Luke Ruth, and Michael Hausenblas.

As part of that launch, Manning is offering a one-day 50% discount for readers of SemanticWeb.com. The discount applies to all versions of “Linked Data”: eBook, print books, and Manning’s “MEAP” books (more on MEAP below). To claim the discount, use coupon code “12linksw” when ordering.

This offer expires at 11:59 pm (US EST) on December 6, so if you’re interested, act fast!

About the Book (description by David Wood):

The flexible, unstructured nature of the Web is being extended to act as a global database of structured data. Linked Data is a standards-driven model for representing structured data on the Web that gives developers, publishers, and information architects a consistent, predictable way to publish, merge and consume data. The Linked Data model offers the potential to standardize Web data in the same way that SQL standardized large-scale commercial databases. Linked Data has been adopted by many well-known institutions, including Google, Facebook, IBM, Oracle and government agencies, as well as popular Open Source projects such as Drupal.

Read more

GoodRelations Fully Integrated with Schema.org

Schema.org and GoodRelations logosSchema.org has announced that GoodRelations is now fully integrated into the markup vocabulary backed by Google, Yahoo!, Bing/Microsoft, and Yandex (read our past schema.org coverage). GoodRelations is the e-commerce vocabulary that has been developed and maintained by Martin Hepp since 2002 (previous coverage).

In the official announcement, R.V. Guha (Google) says, “Effective immediately, the GoodRelations vocabulary (http://purl.org/goodrelations/) is directly available from within the schema.org site for use with both HTML5 Microdata and RDFa. Webmasters of e-commerce sites can use all GoodRelations types and properties directly from the schema.org namespace to expose more granular information for search engines and other clients, including delivery charges, quantity discounts, and product features.”

Read more

FindTheBest Reaches 10M Visitors a Month

FindTheBest, a company that we have previously covered in-depth, reports that the company’s comparison engine has reached ten million unique visits per month and that it’s publisher network now includes 65 premium content partners. The article states, “The comparison engine began syndicating its content to publisher partners in January. Since then, the publisher network has grown to more than 65 content partners including TechCrunch, VentureBeat, Conde´ Nast’s Golf Digest and Bonnier Corporation’s Ski Mag. Through these partnerships, FindTheBest is helping media companies and publishers monetize their sites with the most effective advertising space while keeping a separation between content and commerce.” Read more

Google Incorporating Gmail into Search

Marcela De Vivo reports that Google is experimenting with incorporating Gmail into search results. De Vivo explains, “If you are taking a trip to Tahoe and want to learn more about biking, Google would pull up information about biking in Tahoe into the main organic SERPs. Additionally, they will search your Gmail inbox for emails, including the terms ‘biking in Tahoe,’ and deliver those results on the top, right hand side of the SERPs, giving you access to personalized information regarding your keyword.” Read more

Google Introduces Structured Data Dashboard

Google has announced the addition of a “Structured Data Dashboard” as a new feature in its Webmaster Tools offerings. The Dashboard gives webmasters greater visibility into the structured data that Google knows about for a given website. This will no doubt come as good news to people wanting confirmation that Google was consuming the structured data being published.

Google’s Rich Snippet Testing Tool has been around for a while and allows webmasters to see how their semantic markup might appear in a Rich Snippet. There are tools that allow developers to test semantic markup during the development process. However, until now there has not been a good way for a webmaster to see how (or even if) Google was consuming the structured markup in a given site.

Read more

Schema.org adds “Additional Type” Property

schema-dot-org logoDan Brickley announced today that schema.org has added the property “additionalType” to the basic building block, schema.org/Thing. As Brickley says, “The additionalType property makes it possible for Microdata-based publishers to list several relevant types, even when the types are from diverse, independent schemas. This is important for schema.org as it allows our markup to be mixed with other systems, without making it too hard for consuming applications to interpret. A description can use a schema.org type as a base, but mention others (e.g. from DBpedia, Freebase, eventually Wikidata…) to improve the specificity and detail of the description.”

As RDFa already allows for use of multiple vocabularies (through the ‘typeOf’ attribute), it is recommended that RDFa publishers use that native syntax.

Read more

<< PREVIOUS PAGENEXT PAGE >>