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Time to Get On With Schema.Org?

By   /  March 19, 2012  /  No Comments

Need another reason for bringing semantic smarts to your web site? Maybe you can find it in a post at Search Engine Land, which includes a piece of a podcast from an SXSW session, and a transcription of it, featuring Google’s head of webspam team Matt Cutts (over this way).

At the session, Cutts noted that Google has been working in the last few months to level the playing field so the advantage doesn’t go to those more focused on overusing search engine optimization vs. producing great content and sites. Over the next months or few weeks it plans to announce something about this, that will involve what it’s been doing to “make GoogleBot smarter, make our relevance better, and we are also looking for those who abuse it, like too many keywords on a page, or exchange way too many links or go well beyond what you normally expect. We have several engineers on my team working on this right now.”

Take that plus the past year’s developments around the schema.org Google-Microsoft-Yahoo-Yandex collaboration (see stories like these here and here and here), and the latest playing up by Google of its continuing semantic search technology efforts (see here), and it seems there’s more and more reason more closely on semantic markup as part of a solid and truly helpful SEO strategy.

To that end, some recent chat in Google+ circles has been around tools that can help make it easier to add schema.org attributes. Some things that have come up there, as well as at schema.rdfs.org, are:

  • Schema Creator. From Raven Internet Marketing Tools, it’s a form-based tool that aims to make it easy to build person, product, event, organization, movie, book and review schemas, and you can copy and paste the code to your site or add additional item properties to it.
  • microData Generator. Here’s another form-based tool for inputting basic information and having that information converted into the standard schema.org markup structure.
  • Web.instata. From Dr. Michael Hausenblas, Research Fellow at the Linked Data Research Centre at the Digital Enterprise Research Institute NUIG, this one takes CSV files (so long as they use Schema.org types or properties as column names) as input and generates a HTML document with the data items marked up with schema.org terms.
  • The Schema for WordPress plug-in lets bloggers using the platform easily insert schema.org consistent markup.
  • J4Schema. Joomla4Schema.org is described as a visual editor for schema.org attributes that lets users of the web site content management system with a few clicks choose and select which information you want to add to your articles.

Speaking of Google’s semantic search plans, Google’s Amit Singhal recently posted on Google+ that, “In 2010, we acquired Freebase, an open-source knowledge graph, and in the time since we’ve grown it from 12 million interconnected entities and attributes to over 200 million. Our vision for this knowledge graph is as a tool to aid the creation of more knowledge — an endless cycle of creativity and insight.”

Feel free to add to the list of tools you’d recommend in our comments section.



About the author

Jennifer Zaino is a New York-based freelance writer specializing in business and technology journalism. She has been an executive editor at leading technology publications, including InformationWeek, where she spearheaded an award-winning news section, and Network Computing, where she helped develop online content strategies including review exclusives and analyst reports. Her freelance credentials include being a regular contributor of original content to The Semantic Web Blog; acting as a contributing writer to RFID Journal; and serving as executive editor at the Smart Architect Smart Enterprise Exchange group. Her work also has appeared in publications and on web sites including EdTech (K-12 and Higher Ed), Ingram Micro Channel Advisor, The CMO Site, and Federal Computer Week.

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