Google and rivals Bing and Yahoo teamed to improve Web content markup information for Website publishers with the new schema.org initiative.
Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Bing and Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) June 2 introduced schema.org
, an effort to help
Website publishers improve Web search results for users.
Those top three search engines, particularly Google, take tons of
flak and quips from journalists, pundits and search experts who
claim results from these search results have grown increasingly laden
and low-quality content.
Schema.org is no spam killer, but it will allow Google,
Bing and Yahoo to create a common vocabulary for structured data markup
pages, including little data tidbits such as restaurant ratings and
reviews, movies and locations, and even cooking time for recipes.
This will help Website publishers and webmasters improve how their sites
appear in major search engines, and hopefully make Website content more
enjoyable and relevant for users.
Google Fellow Ramanathan Guha said
schema.org work is intended to make Web info
more useful. "We know that it takes time and effort for webmasters to add
this markup to their pages, and adding markup is much harder if every search
engine asks for data in a different way."
Bing partner program manager Steve Macbeth said
schema.org will allow publishers to give us hints about what things they are
describing on their sites.
"Rather than rely solely on machine learning and
other AI (artificial intelligence) techniques, we asked 'what if we could
enable publishers to have a single schema they could use to describe their
sites that all search engines could understand?'" Macbeth
The move comes two years after Google dipped a toe into
the structured data markup pool with Google search snippets. Early data snippets
designed to help searchers find better summaries
of reviews and people.
Google later added
recipes snippets, which are used by allrecipes.com, and events
snippets, used by the likes of ticket provider stubhub.com.
The company also acquired
Metaweb last July to bolster rich snippets with its Freebase treasure chest of 12
million data sets for movies, books, TV shows, celebrities, locations and
Google is releasing these data sets as part of more than 100 new categories that webmasters may use to mark up their Websites. ReadWriteWeb
explains how this might work.
"With webmaster feedback, we'll be able to regularly
publish new schemas for sites to use and, in turn, expand the list of queries
with rich results," Guha added.
Websites that already include microformats or RDFa supported
by rich snippets will still appear with rich snippets on Google.