Information found by following hyperlinked Web documents has been characterized as the “tip of the iceberg” compared to the amount of data that could be discovered on the Web. Semantic technology and semantic markup have made a lot of progress over the last few years. With new tools, participation from major search engines, and the growth of the linked open data cloud, the opportunities for search marketers to participate in this space have increased rapidly. A brief summary of milestones includes:
- In spring 2008, Yahoo launched SearchMonkey, an open developer platform.
- In spring 2009, Google announced its support of Rich Snippets.
- During summer 2008, The New York Times announced its participation in the Linked Open Data movement and is converting data to Resource Description Framework (define).
- Best Buy is converting data to RDFa using GoodRelations technology.
- On June 10, 2008, the U.K. government announced it will move to put government data on the Web in an effort to participate in the linked data movement.
- The U.S. government has made a public commitment toward the idea of future participation in the open data movement.
The industry has rapidly evolved from a simple idea to a large set of applications, organizations, and technologies. Once leaders, such as the preceding, begin to participate in the movement, other major companies and organizations will naturally follow.
To help search marketers navigate opportunities in this space, we have assembled a well-balanced expert panel for a forthcoming session at a SES Chicago on Dec. 8, 2009 titled “Developments in Information Retrieval on the Web.” (ClickZ and SES are both part of Incisive Media.)
For SES, we have managed to bring together four leaders in the semantic Web space. The panel will include two leading researchers, Martin Hepp (traveling from Germany) and Jamie Taylor (an author of “Programming the Semantic Web”), along with Nick Cox of Yahoo and Jay Myers of Best Buy. The panel will cover semantic Web fundamentals including the Resource Description Framework (RDF), microformats, and the concepts behind linked data. The panel will build from explanations of the fundamentals and examine real examples from companies and search engines and how they are using semantic Web technology to enhance online marketing efforts. Panel members will answer questions such as:
- Why do we need something like microformats, RDFa, HTML5, and microdata? What role do they play?
- How does semantic representation enhance the “link economy”?
- How can site owners embed structured data of their company, product, and price info into their pages?
- Areas of structured data use at Yahoo such as SearchMonkey, media properties, and application platforms.
- How much data has been described using these new markups?
In addition, Jay Myers will discuss how his company is using RDFa and GoodRelations technology, while Martin Hepp will be demonstrating and explaining his software, GoodRelations.
The panel’s goal is to reveal relevant information in this sector that search marketers should be paying attention to. From thought leaders’ explanations to real-world examples, we hope attendees leave the session with a better understanding of this space and how it can benefit your online marketing efforts. Ideally, search marketers should devote a certain amount of their efforts toward understanding new technologies and movements on the Web. Given the recent progress in semantic Web technology, we think this topic is worthy of its own session.
We look forward to seeing you in Chicago.
Sandy Rubinstein is the CEO of the independently female minority-owned marketing and advertising firm DXagency. ClickZ caught up with her to find out about her role as CEO, and what advice she would give to women who want to work in the digital industry.
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