This is indeed an “I told you so” post. If you don’t recognise the logo above, then this is aimed at you
Google have announced (12 May) that they are going to be using “Rich snippets”:
“Rich Snippets give users convenient summary information about their search results at a glance. We are currently supporting data about reviews and people.”
“Now we’re beginning the process of opening up this successful experiment so that more websites can participate. As a webmaster, you can help by annotating your pages with structured data in a standard format.
To display Rich Snippets, Google looks for markup formats (microformats and RDFa) that you can easily add to your own web pages.”
“By incorporating standard annotations in your pages, you not only make your structured data available for Google’s search results, but also for any service or tool that supports the same standard. As structured data becomes more widespread on the web, we expect to find many new applications for it, and we’re excited about the possibilities.”
So…I told you so right?
“I won’t adopt the semantic web!” (really? You’re not going to?)
And also I’ve helped you:
This Google announcement should come as a surprise to nobody:
Google and the Semantic Web (2006!)
And I could go on and on…
A lot of webmasters, SEO’s and other web professionals have been reluctant to accept the semantic web as a reality. This is mostly I would venture, because people are always slow to accept new things. This however has been around for quite a long time and is not a new concept at all. It is part of Web 3.0 and when not used in a marketing context this is very real. It is a spin, after all web 2.0 is readily accepted these days and prior to it coming of age it was shunned and battered as well. As web professionals I think we should all be ahead of the game, rather than behind it. Agreed?
This is why being aware of the moves and developments in the research surrounding search engines is important. Why dismiss something because it sounds new and weird and might require a change in practice? “Why should people adopt it?” has been the most resounding question. I have a feeling that if Google suggests people do…they will