Posts Tagged ‘semantic markup’

Structured Data In The Spotlight At The New York Times

Photo credit : Eric Franzon

Photo credit : Eric Franzon

In the winter of 2012, The New York Times began its implementation of the schema.org compatible version of rNews, a standard for embedding machine-readable publishing metadata into HTML documents, to improve the quality and appearance of its search results, as well as generate more traffic through algorithmically generated links. The semantic markup for news articles brought to its web pages structured data properties to define author, the date a work was created, its editor, headline, and so on.

But according to a leaked New York Times internal innovation report that appears here, there’s more work to be done in the structured data realm as part of a grand plan to truly put digital first in the face of falling website and smartphone app readership and hotter competition from both old guard and new age newsrooms and social media properties that are transforming how journalism is delivered for an audience increasingly invested in mobile, social, and personalized technologies.

The report was put together with insights from parties including Evan Sandhaus, director for search, archives and semantics at The NY Times, who was instrumental in the rNews/schema.org effort as well as the TimesMachine relaunch, a digital archive of 46,592 issues of The New York Times whose use includes surrounding current news stories with context. While the report notes that the Gray Lady has not been standing still in the face of its challenges, citing newsroom advances to grow audience with efforts such as using data to inform decisions, it needs to do more – faster – to make it easy to get its content in front of digital readers.

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Semantic Markup Pays Off But For Whom?

schemapix1 Many eyes are turning to research being done by SEO optimization vendor Searchmetrics about the virtues of semantic markup. Exploring the enrichment of search results through microdata integration, it says it has analyzed “tens of thousands of representative keywords, and rankings for over half a million domains from our comprehensive database, for the effect of the use of schema.org markup in terms of dissemination and integration type.”

Its study is still underway but so far its initial findings include good news – that is, that semantic markup succeeds:

  • Larger domains are more likely to embrace structured data markup, and the most popular markups relate to movies, offers, and reviews.  That said, overall, domains aren’t flocking to integrate Schema HTML tags.

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Musicians Can Now Include Official Tour Dates in Google Knowledge Graph

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The Google Webmaster Central blog reports, “When music lovers search for their favorite band on Google, we often show them a Knowledge Graph panel with lots of information about the band, including the band’s upcoming concert schedule. It’s important to fans and artists alike that this schedule be accurate and complete. That’s why we’re trying a new approach to concert listings. In our new approach, all concert information for an artist comes directly from that artist’s official website when they add structured data markup.” Read more

Stanford Researchers Develop Tool for Semantically Interpreting Medical Images

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Lia Steakley of the Scope Blog recently wrote, “A web-based tool created by researchers at Stanford enables physicians and researchers to better interpret the wealth of data contained in medical images by capturing information in a way that is explicit and computationally accessible. The tool, called electronic Physician Annotation Device (ePAD), was developed by the Rubin Lab at the School of Medicine and is available to download for free. Daniel Rubin, MD, an assistant professor of radiology, and his team initially designed ePAD in response to an unmet need in cancer imaging, but he says the tool can be used more generally quantitatively evaluate images and characterize disease.” Read more

Google’s Structured Data Dashboard Now Offers Markup Error Reports

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According to a new post by Mariya Moeva on the Google Webmaster Blog, “Since we launched the Structured Data dashboard last year, it has quickly become one of the most popular features in Webmaster Tools. We’ve been working to expand it and make it even easier to debug issues so that you can see how Google understands the marked-up content on your site. Starting today, you can see items with errors in the Structured Data dashboard. This new feature is a result of a collaboration with webmasters, whom we invited in June to>register as early testers of markup error reporting in Webmaster Tools. We’ve incorporated their feedback to improve the functionality of the Structured Data dashboard.” Read more

How Locu Proved Its $70M Worth

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Andrea Huspeni of Entrepreneur.com reports, “The internet has been around for decades, but many mom-and-pop shops continue to drag their feet when it comes to creating an online presence. To help, there’s Locu, a service that allows companies to create a digital footprint through self-service tools. Four Massachusetts Institute of Technology students — working out of a lab put on by Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web — founded the site in 2011. Locu has managed to get 30,000 businesses to sign up for it service, by providing an easy-to-use dashboard for small business marketing materials. So it allows companies to update online content like menus and pricing lists. The company works on a freemium model, offering some of its basic services for free, with additional benefits costing $25 a month.” Read more

Google Glass Underscores Value of Targeted Marketing Data

Laurie Sullivan of Media Post reports, “Marketers wondering how their optimization efforts will pay off need only look at the small chunks of hyper-relevant targeted information that emphasize a movement toward semantic data. The data comes from Google’s Knowledge Graph and semantic markup, Reva McEachern, global SEO supervisor at Resolution Media, explains. ‘Marketers need to implement as many schema as possible by leveraging semantic data,’ she said. ‘If you have reviews or images of people on your Web site, identify and code them, because it’s important to define each thing on the page. Google is trying to determine how to display those things on the cards’.” Read more

Google’s Structured Data Take Over

Barbara Starr of Search Engine Land recently posed the question, is Google hijacking semantic markup and structured data? She writes, “In 2012, I started a series, How The Major Search And Social Engines Are Using The Semantic Web, which took us to a point in time around September 2012. Since then, there have been further interesting developments. In this article, I am going to focus on recent developments that are search engine and/or Google specific, then take a further look back in search engine history with the assumption (for you history and strategy lovers,) that a successful strategy used once, may well be used again in similar circumstances.” Read more

Adding Rich Snippets and Semantic Markup to Your Site

Barbara Starr of SearchEngineLand reports, “Semantic markup is becoming more and more popular in conjunction with large scale SEO. Adding rich snippets to send rich signals to alert search engines as to the relevancy of your content − whatever vertical they may appear in − is not only a wise move, but an SEO best practice. Included below is an illustrative guide highlighting currently available Chrome extensions, which you can leverage to both test on-site markup as well as expose any information regarding your competitors. An example is illustrated [above], and what follows is a guide to getting the information.” Read more

Describing Classifieds with GoodRelations

GoodRelations, the web vocabulary for eCommerce, has shared specific instructions for how to describe classified ads as part of the GoodRelations Cookbook. This particular “recipe” begins, “The special challenge when exposing structured data for classified ads are the following: (1) You typically just have a headline, a body text, and incomplete contact information. (2) The exact identity of the offering party is unknown and often limited to a screen-name or just the phone number.” Read more

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