Home  › Search › SEO

Structured Authoring: The New Normal in Content Production

  |  May 14, 2014   |  Comments

Structured authoring, although originally just a method favored by technical writers, is now becoming the new normal for enterprise-level content production.

The science of information retrieval and processing is going through growing pains, as evidenced by last fall's Hummingbird update and the advances being made by Schema.org leadership.

Now is a key time for marketers and their teams to adjust to the semantic search evolution and be prepared as it continues to develop. This is one of the biggest challenges facing practitioners in our field right now.

Technological change has always had a profound impact on the way humans communicate (consider the printing press). Today, information technology is disrupting some fundamental thinking about how to write for an audience. I'm talking about the development of structured authoring - originally a method favored by technical writers - as the new normal for enterprise-level content production.

To be most effective, modern content needs to be machine-readable for semantic technologies. It needs to be responsive to users at ever-more-granular levels and easily deployed on mobile and stationary devices alike.

The structured authoring approach meets these requirements by allowing writers to create mix-and-match topical chunks of content that can be reused and recombined for diverse audiences. Structured authoring separates presentation from content creation so writers don't need to worry about formatting. Translation and publishing can be automated for significant cost savings.

These are just a few of the advantages of adopting a structured authoring approach. As semantic technologies expand, these capabilities are going to become ever more important for SEO and other content-dependent business functions.

Adobe's been working in the structured authoring space for almost 20 years. You may be familiar with our original FrameMaker program, which has been used largely as a technical writing tool. In January 2014, we released FrameMaker 12, which offers significant new structuring capabilities tailor-made for the requirements of modern content authoring.

I would recommend this product even if I didn't work for Adobe, and here's why.

In the world of structured authoring programs, consumers can choose between tools that are based on XML, and those that are not. Many, if not most, industry experts favor XML-based programs, and I'm among them, partly due to the many great advances of the W3C XML working groups.

Another reason has to do with timing. XML is the language of the semantic Web, and the semantic Web is our future. HTML and its offshoots are still relevant on the Internet, but the reality is IT is rapidly evolving beyond the boundaries of the Internet.

XML is uniquely suited to support functions that are crucial to modern content needs, including those I outlined above. As our information retrieval environment becomes more sophisticated, I believe more and more enterprises will adopt a structured authoring system. If you'd like to dig deeper into XML best practices, take a look at "The Hitchhiker's Guide to XML Authoring" and XML Certification Programs.

ClickZ Live Toronto On the heels of a fantastic event in New York City, ClickZ Live is taking the fun and learning to Toronto, June 23-25. With over 15 years' experience delivering industry-leading events, ClickZ Live offers an action-packed, educationally-focused agenda covering all aspects of digital marketing. Register today!

ClickZ Live San Francisco Want to learn more? Join us at ClickZ Live San Francisco, Aug 10-12!
Educating marketers for over 15 years, ClickZ Live brings together industry thought leaders from the largest brands and agencies to deliver the most advanced, educational digital marketing agenda. Register today and save $500!


Dave Lloyd

Dave Lloyd is Senior Manager of Global Search Marketing at Adobe Systems where he leads a global team delivering organic and site search strategy and aligns closely with all other digital and media channels. As part of the Global Demand Generation organization, his team uses the Adobe Marketing Cloud to deliver on KPI-driven results including worldwide subscriptions, trials, sales leads, and revenue-based metrics. In his prior role at Cisco, he oversaw global SEO strategy for all products. He is Google-certified, with 14 years in digital marketing, and a Business degree from U.C. Davis. He's spoken at AdTech, SMX, Adobe Summit, BrightEdge Share, and DMA events.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

Get the ClickZ Search newsletter delivered to you. Subscribe today!



Featured White Papers

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce
This Magic Quadrant examines leading digital commerce platforms that enable organizations to build digital commerce sites. These commerce platforms facilitate purchasing transactions over the Web, and support the creation and continuing development of an online relationship with a consumer.

Paid Search in the Mobile Era

Paid Search in the Mobile Era
Google reports that paid search ads are currently driving 40+ million calls per month. Cost per click is increasing, paid search budgets are growing, and mobile continues to dominate. It's time to revamp old search strategies, reimagine stale best practices, and add new layers data to your analytics.




    • GREAT Campaign Project Coordinator
      GREAT Campaign Project Coordinator (British Consulate-General, New York) - New YorkThe GREAT Britain Campaign is seeking an energetic and creative...
    • Paid Search Senior Account Manager
      Paid Search Senior Account Manager (Hanapin Marketing) - BloomingtonHanapin Marketing is hiring a strategic Paid Search Senior Account Manager...
    • Paid Search Account Manager
      Paid Search Account Manager (Hanapin Marketing) - BloomingtonHanapin Marketing is hiring an experienced Paid Search Account Manager to...