Posts Tagged ‘schema.org’

Good-Bye 2013

Courtesy: Flickr/MadebyMark

Courtesy: Flickr/MadebyMark

As we prepare to greet the New Year, we take a look back at the year that was. Some of the leading voices in the semantic web/Linked Data/Web 3.0 and sentiment analytics space give us their thoughts on the highlights of 2013.

Read on:

 

Phil Archer, Data Activity Lead, W3C:

The completion and rapid adoption of the updated SPARQL specs, the use of Linked Data (LD) in life sciences, the adoption of LD by the European Commission, and governments in the UK, The Netherlands (NL) and more [stand out]. In other words, [we are seeing] the maturation and growing acknowledgement of the advantages of the technologies.

I contributed to a recent study into the use of Linked Data within governments. We spoke to various UK government departments as well as the UN FAO, the German National Library and more. The roadblocks and enablers section of the study (see here) is useful IMO.

Bottom line: Those organisations use LD because it suits them. It makes their own tasks easier, it allows them to fulfill their public tasks more effectively. They don’t do it to be cool, and they don’t do it to provide 5-Star Linked Data to others. They do it for hard headed and self-interested reasons.

Christine Connors, founder and information strategist, TriviumRLG:

What sticks out in my mind is the resource market: We’ve seen more “semantic technology” job postings, academic positions and M&A activity than I can remember in a long time. I think that this is a noteworthy trend if my assessment is accurate.

There’s also been a huge increase in the attentions of the librarian community, thanks to long-time work at the Library of Congress, from leading experts in that field and via schema.org.

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Leveraging Structured Data in E-Commerce

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Barbara Starr of Search Engine Land recently wrote, “Ever since the Hummingbird update, there has been a ton of Internet buzz about entity search. What is entity search? How does it work? And what exactly is an ‘entity’? However, the topic of entity search as it relates to e-commerce and Google Shopping has been neglected. Everything you have learned to date about entity search, semantic search and the semantic Web also applies to e-commerce. The big difference in the shopping vertical compared to other search verticals is that all entities searched for are of the same type. Every product in Google is, in fact, an entity of type ‘product.’ It should therefore be treated and optimized as such.” Read more

Reason To Be Thankful: Being Named A Fast-Growing Tech Company

rsz_thankful_imageIt’s got to be a happy Thanksgiving for a number of tech companies that made their way to Deloitte’s recently-released Technology Fast 500. The 2013 ranking of the fastest-growing tech companies based in North America also has something to show for anyone who’s doubted that there’s money to be made taking advantage of semantic and other Web 3.0 concepts, a look at the list should show it’s time for the doubting to stop.

Have a look at some of the winners with their overall rankings:

#2 Acquia. Drupal claims the title of being the first mainstream content management system to support semantic web technology in its core. The Drupal-powered project Acquia was co-founded by Drupal creator Dries Buytaert to provide cloud, SaaS, and other services to organizations building websites on Drupal – and has on staff software engineer Stéphane Corlosquet, who had a big hand in bringing those semantic capabilities to Drupal’s core. In fact, Corlosquet spoke at the most recent SemTechBiz about Acquia as an example of a Drupal-powered project managing its content as Linked Data.

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Where Schema.org Is At: A Chat With Google’s R.V. Guha

 

rvg Interested in how schema.org has trended in the last couple of years since its birth? If you were at The International Semantic Web Conference event in Sydney a couple of weeks back, you may have caught Google Fellow Ramanathan V. Guha — the mind behind schema.org — present a keynote address about the initiative.

Of course, Australia’s a far way to go for a lot of people, so The Semantic Web Blog is happy to catch everyone up on Guha’s thoughts on the topic.

We caught up with him when he was back stateside:

The Semantic Web Blog: Tell us a little bit about the main focus of your keynote.

Guha: The basic discussion was a progress report on schema.org – its history and why it came about a couple of years ago. Other than a couple of panels at SemTech we’ve maintained a rather low profile and figured it might be a good time to talk more about it, and to a crowd that is different from the SemTech crowd.

The short version is that the goal, of course, is to make it easier for mainstream webmasters to add structured data markup to web pages, so that they wouldn’t have to track down many different vocabularies, or think about what Yahoo or Microsoft or Google understands. Before webmasters had to champion internally which vocabularies to use and how to mark up a site, but we have reduced that and also now it’s not an issue of which search engine to cater to.

It’s now a little over two years since launch and we are seeing adoption way beyond what we expected. The aggregate search engines see about 15 percent of the pages we crawl have schema.org markup. This is the first time we see markup approximately on the order of the scale of the web….Now over 5 million sites are using it.  That’s helped by the mainstream platforms like Drupal and WordPress adopting it so that it becomes part of the regular workflow. Read more

Take A Peek At Some Semantic Halloween Treats

rsz_bones5How can the semantic web help you participate in and celebrate Halloween this year? We trolled around and came up with a few ideas:

* Still haven’t found just the right costume yet for tonight’s festivities (for you, that is – we’re sure the kids have had theirs planned for some time). Perhaps you’re thinking hard about a do-it-yourself skeleton theme, but aren’t sure of the details for creating the most realistic effect? Well, if you head over to semantic search engine DuckDuckGo’s science goodies section, you’ll get a quick response on the number of bones in the human body, courtesy of Wolfram/Alpha computations. You can take it from there.

* OK, costume’s in check. Now how about what to do while wearing it?

sensebotscreenSemantic search engine SenseBot might be a help here, pointing you to information it’s extracted from web pages and summarizing them in a, well, sensible way, as well as offering a cloud of the concepts it’s discovered for you to further narrow your agenda. The results can be a little off here and there, but it’s nice to have an option to further narrow a search, like one for adult activities to partake in on Halloween, to something more granular, like those designed for the “scare” factor.

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The Future of SEO: Panelists At SemTechBiz Weigh In

SEO is dead. Long Live SEO. A panel discussion.Where is SEO going? A panel hosted by Aaron Bradley, Internet marketing manager at InfoMine, Inc. at this week’s Semantic Technology & Business Conference in NYC took on the issue at full force. The session, featuring Bing senior product manager Duane Forrester,  semantic web strategist and independent consultant Barbara H. Starr, Swellpath SEO Team Manager Mike Arnesen, and author and analyst David Amerland (see our Q&A with him here), provided some insight into why it’s an exciting time to be working in both semantic technology and search – and why that’s also a scary proposition for some in the SEO set who’ve lived by keywords and links.

On the exciting side of things, Arnesen pointed out that it was always a somewhat unnatural process to have to advise clients to craft content so that it can match to specific keywords to get traction. “Now we can tell them to just write good content, put what you need to put on the web and it will be easier find because of semantic markup and semantic search,” he said.

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UPDATE: The Semantic Web Has Killed SEO. Long Live SEO.

[UPDATE: This panel has a new panelist! Mike Arnesen, SEO Team Manager of SwellPath will participate in New York.]

seo-is-dead-long-live-seoOn October 3 at the New York Semantic Technology & Business Conference (#SemTechBiz), a panel of experts will tackle the issue of how Semantic Web technologies are rapidly changing the landscape of Search Engine Optimization. The panel, titled “The Semantic Web Has Killed SEO. Long Live SEO.,” is made up of Aaron Bradley, David Amerland, Barbara Starr, Duane Forrester, and Mike Arnesen.

The session will address numerous issues at the intersection of Semantic Web and SEO. As the description reads, “From rich snippets to the Google Knowledge Graph to Bing Snapshots semantic technology has transformed the look, feel and functionality of search engines.”

Have these changes undermined the ways in which websites are optimized for search, effectively “killing” SEO? Or are tried-and-true SEO tactics still effective? And what does the future hold for SEO in a semantic world?

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Video: Shared Library Data at the ALA Annual 2013

Logo of the OCLCRegular readers of this blog may know that Linked Data and Semantic Web technologies are gaining significant traction in the worlds of Libraries, Archives, and Museums. Earlier this summer, Richard Wallis (Technology Evangelist) and Ted Fons (Executive Director, Data Services and WorldCat Quality) of the OCLC discussed and demonstrated how that organization in particular is sharing library data. This presentation was delivered at the Annual Conference of the American Libraries Association in Chicago.

The presentations by Fons and Wallis serve as good introductory pieces to practical Linked Data use, and the potential benefits of using Linked Data as a platform for knowledge management for large collections of data.  Wallis also discusses why OCLC chose to use schema.org as a vocabulary.

Part I:

Part II:

Analysis of Brand-Related Knowledge Graph Search

Depiction of entities connected in the Google Knowledge GraphIn a recent post on the Moz.com blog, Dr. Peter J. Myers wrote about an apparent change that took place on the morning of July 19th that appears to be related to how Google processes Knowledge Graph entities. “My gut feeling is that Google has bumped up the volume on the Knowledge Graph, letting KG entries appear more frequently,” Myers posted.

The morning of July 19th was specifically identified because, Myers explained, “Overnight, the number of queries we track in the MozCast 10K beta system that show some kind of Knowledge Graph jumped from 17.8% to 26.7%, an increase of over 50%. This was not a test or a one-day fluke — here’s a graph for all of July 2013 (as of August 20th, the number has remained stable near 27%).

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Helping Citizen Searches For Government Services

Photo courtesy: Flickr/Arjan Richter

By 2016, ABI Research has it, as much as $114 billion could be saved worldwide through the implementation of online e-government services. It predicted that investment in these services is set to increase from $28 billion in 2010 to $57 billion in 2016, and that the number of users will nearly triple over the forecast period.

Here in the states, according to a 2012 survey by GovLoop, 83 percent of respondents say that they can access government-oriented customer service efforts via a website. And the number of people who are taking advantage of the ability to access information and services on government web sites is pretty significant, even going back to 2010, when the Pew Internet & American Life Project reported that 82 percent of American Internet users – 62 percent of adults – were doing so. Among its findings at the time were that 46 percent have looked up what services a government agency provides; 33 percent  have renewed a driver’s license or auto registration; 23 percent have gotten information about or applied for government benefits; and 11 percent have applied for a recreational license, such as a fishing or hunting license.

Given the interest in accessing information via the Internet about government services by the citizenry — not to mention accessing the services themselves, and not only in the US but abroad — it makes sense for governments to put an emphasis on customer service online. The Govloop survey finds that there’s room for some improvement, with the majority of respondents rating service a 3 or 4 on the scale of 1 to 5. Perhaps additional help will come from some efforts in the semantic web space, like a vocabulary for describing civic services that government organizations can use to help citizens using search engines hone in on the service that’s their true interest from the start.

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