Structured Data

Web 3.0 Basics for Web Analytics Wednesday - Dubai

I previously discussed the relationship between Web 3.0 and SEO. This is the presentation version which was shared in our last meeting.
 
 
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Web 3.0 and Search Engine Optimization

Although the coolest potential applications of Web 3.0 are potentially achieved when our machines start talking to each other in a smart way, making decisions on our behalf, and suggesting meaningul things based on past data, and our preferences, one of the first steps to get there is simply structuring data in a way that computers can deal with immediately, instead of having to extract meaning and pattern from any piece of text.

Semantic search engines extract meaning by "reading" the text and inferring that France is a country, Nescafe is a coffee brand, and The Dalai Lama is a person. This is great, but requires a lot of computing power, and has a lot of challenges in understanding different kinds of text, and the different meanings the same word can have in different contexts.

The simple way to help search engines "understand" content, is to extract those entities ourselves and give them to the search engine.

Structured data simply means that certain "entities" are tagged in a way that describe them as the entities they are. For example, instead of writing

"I live in Dubai, United Arab Emirates" you can tag the same sentence with tags that make "Dubai" a city, and not just the letters D-U-B-A-I, as follows:

I live in<div class="adr">
  <span class="locality">Dubai,</span>

  <span class="country-name">United Arab Emirates</span>

 </div>

The user will still read the same sentence, but search engines and other sites working on structured data will find your content much easier because your entities are identified. Moreover, you can export your reviews, products, information, and anything you want with ease to other sites that classify certain information.

For example, if your site offers product reviews, and your reviews are tagged properly, other shopping sites or shopping engines will be able to extract the relavant data from you, and thus make your products available without much effort on your part.

This is clearly going to become an essential part of search engine optimization, and as anything else in technology it will only pickup when a large enough number of websites start using it. Then we will witness a transformation of our web experience.