The semantic web is finally emerging out of the shadows of the nerds. Yahoo has just made the move to start indexing Semantic Web and Microformats markup from around the web and will use the information to improve search results and make them more structured. Excellent, this is a god start and will defiantly push the standard forward.
Defiantly one of the more interesting things that I think will push us out of 2.0 and move froward. And allow for some smart, powerful applications. With support from big players, Yahoo, Google (will probably jump on the train very soon) etc it will quickly become more relevant.
Some very interesting info on this was posted on TechCrunch and ReadWriteWeb. Semantic Web, W3C Director Tim Berners-Lee discuss in a interview on topic with Paul Miller – great summary here or listen to the whole thing here. Don’t know what this is start the read here.
So what does this all mean and how will its effects be? Thought the RRW gave quite a nice overview: “today, a web service might work very hard to scour the internet to discover all the book reviews written on various sites, by friends of mine, who live in Europe. That would be so hard that no one would probably try it. The suite of technologies Yahoo! is moving to support will make such searches trivial. Once publishers start including things like hReview, FOAF and geoRSS in their content then Yahoo!, and other sites leveraging Yahoo! search results, will be able to ask easily what it is we want to do with those book reviews. Say hello to a new level of innovation.
The basic idea behind Semantic Web technology is that by signaling what kind of content you are publishing on an item-by-item or field-by-field basis, publishers can help make the meaning of their text readable by machines. If machines are able to determine the meaning of the content on a page, then our human brains don’t have to waste time determining, for example, which search results go beyond containing our keywords and actually mean what we are looking for.
Publishers will now be able to clearly designate content on a page as related to other particular content, as business card type information, as a calendar event, a review or as many other types of content. It will make Yahoo! a lot smarter and should shake up the world of Search Engine Optimization and web publishing, a lot.”
In a nutshell – a more structured web of information that allows for smart applications to evolve. In the end benefiting the end user with relevant info at their fingertips. And yes, marketers and publisher to.