Martin Hepp, of Hepp Research, GmbH, announced today that Google now recommends using the GoodRelations vocabulary for product and price information in Web pages.  This is significant news for broader adoption of the Semantic Web and Linked Data.

Why is this significant? 

It means that anyone who has a web page with information about a product or service can add a releatively small amount of markup to existing HTML, and have semantic information that both Google and other semantic applications will be able to process.  There is some evidence that doing this has an inherent SEO benefit as well as an improved display of the information in Google search results.

Here is an example of that improved appearance from the Hepp Research website:

Without GoodRelations in RDFa:

Product example without GoodRelations RDFa markup

With GoodRelations in RDFa:

Dr. Hepp Says:

This is a major – if not the critical – step towards massive adoption of RDF, because there is now a clear incentive for any site owner in the world to add rich meta-data in RDFa to her or his page templates.

It [GoodRelations] is also, to my knowledge, the first OWL DL vocabulary adopted by a major search engine.

It is safe to assume that additional GoodRelations elements, not currently relevant for Rich Snippets, and RDF features currently not required by Google (e.g. datatype information), will not irritate Google’s processing of RDFa markup, so you can cater for Google and the Web of Linked Data in one turn.

See Martin’s original post for further information about Google and how to implement RDFa and GoodRelations:
http://www.heppresearch.com/gr4google.

Along with the acquisition of MetaWeb earlier this year, this move by Google is more evidence that the search engine is supportive of Semantic Technologies and could be preparing for more website publishers to use semantic markup in their pages.

Martin Hepp will be speaking later this month at the Semantic Web Summit in Boston, November 16-17. Dr. Hepp will be presenting on a panel with Jay Myers, who was behind one of the first significant implementations of the GoodRelations vocabulary at Best Buy.