Examining Real World Uses Of Rich Snippets & Markup

Semantic markup is becoming more and more popular in conjunction with large scale SEO. Adding rich snippets to send rich signals to alert search engines as to the relevancy of your content − whatever vertical they may appear in − is not only a wise move, but an SEO best practice. Included below is an illustrative guide highlighting currently available Chrome extensions, which you can leverage to both test on-site markup as well as expose any information regarding your competitors. An example is illustrated below, and what follows is a guide to getting the information.   Installi [...]


An Illustrated Guide To E-Commerce Markup Using GoodRelations

In How Search & Social Engines Are Using Semantic Search, I started this series with an overview. This article will give you a walk through on generating local and organization markup for a store. We will look at an alternative vocabulary, namely GoodRelations, and take a deeper dive into the specifics of generating semantic markup for the e-commerce domain using GoodRelations. To clarify, GoodRelations is a vocabulary for e-commerce. Microdata and RDFa are syntaxes. Schema.org for product is an alternate vocabulary for e-commerce. The diagram below from Linked Open Commerce gives an [...]


How Search & Social Engines Are Using Semantic Search

The term "Semantic Search" is certainly not new. However, it has taken on a new dimension and implications in both search and social engines today. In addition, it has had a strong impact on targeted semantic advertising. This special series of forthcoming articles on semantic search will take a look at the history behind the development of semantic technology and why it has now become so commercially viable and topical. It will also take a look at how the technology enables "answer engines," rather than simple search engines, to improve the user experience. For example, look at the dire [...]


Bing Integrates Qwiki Videos Into Search Results

qwiki-logo Bing's search results are getting a bit more interactive with the integration of machine-generated videos from Qwiki. The companies have just announced that some search results -- currently those where a Wikipedia page appears -- will offer searchers a chance to see and hear a Qwiki video about the search topic. The integration shows up as a single line below the main search result with a small "play" icon and a "Watch the Qwiki" call to action. Clicking that launches Qwiki's machine-generated video right in the search result. Various elements that appear in the video are clickabl [...]


Google Discussion Forum Snippets Now Showing “Top Answers”

Google has expanded the search descriptions to show the "top answer" and sometimes the "question" for discussion forum like search results. For example, a search for ["incoming search terms"] in Google returns results from Google Groups and StackOverflow and in those snippets, it shows the "top answer" listed in the forum. Here is a picture: Both these forums support the functionality of labeling an answer to the question as a "top answer." Google is clearly picking up on that, structuring the data as such and then displaying that directly in the search results. This is all likely [...]


MicroData For Marketing Executives

This continues the analysis presented in the MicroData Not Ready For Primetime article previously published. Here, I break down the MicroData hierarchy into three levels so marketing professionals can review each category to see what value it can bring to future marketing, content and SEO initiatives. When you look at the type schema you see close to 300 metadata elements that can describe various entities (called Things here). There is lot of specificity in a few categories such as Local Businesses, Civic Structures and Events. Two of these categories have real implications for local a [...]


MicroData & Retail Products: Not Ready For Primetime?

If you are in the search engine business, the functionality in the Microdata specification sponsored by Google, Yahoo and Bing is a very attractive way to theoretically improve search results. Enterprise search engines are well-versed with named entity extraction tools and techniques, which is how this information has been generated in the past decade. The major search engines are essentially telling content providers that if they name all their entities in their content, they can do a better job of extracting meaning from them to help improve search results. This is a win-win propositio [...]


Schema.org: Google, Bing & Yahoo Unite To Make Search Listings Richer Through Structured Data

schema-logo Today, "in the spirit of sitemaps.org", Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo have announced the joint alliance of schema.org. This alliance provides a common foundation of support for a set of microdata types -- some that previously existed and some that have been created as part of this initiative. Microdata is a type of structured mark up that can be used to provide semantic meaning to content on web pages. The microdata types currently supported are documented at schema.og. You can also take a look at the announcements from each search engine on their blogs: Google: Introducing schema.org: S [...]


Google Testing Instant Previews On Ads (Here’s What It Looks Like)

google-g-logo Google is testing a new feature that marries its Instant Previews with AdWords. The test gives searchers a chance to see the ad's landing page without clicking on the ad. As you can see, all of the ads on the screenshot above -- whether above the organic results or in the right column -- are showing the small magnifying glass icon for Instant Previews. The preview image itself seems to be work exactly as the feature works in organic search; the search query, "lcd tvs" in this case, is called out and shown in bold on the preview. When Instant Previews launched in November, Danny Sulli [...]


Google Launches Instant Previews

At last, Google has finally gained a page preview feature. Called "Instant Previews," this is a way for you to see what's on a page that's listed in Google's search results without having to leave Google. The new feature seems promising, another way to save time in the searching process, because there's less need for people to "pogostick" with their search results. Pogosticking is when someone clicks from a search listing to a page, then clicks back if unsatisfied to select another result and so on. With the new Instant Previews, they may be better able to immediately spot the most p [...]


Yolink Goes After Publishers With Search Preview Tool

There have been many search "preview" tools, plug-ins and add-ons that try and give users a peek at what's behind a link on a SERP. Their objective is to circumvent the click and enable people to more quickly get to desired information. Almost all of these tools have failed to deliver on the promise of that idea. Generally, also, consumers don't use them. One of the most obnoxious in recent memory is the blog plug-in tool "snap shots." Many blogs installed it because it looked "cool" but did very little in the way of adding value. Bing does a version of this currently, which is relativel [...]


Google Expands Rich Snippet Support Internationally

Nearly a year ago, Google announced that they had begun extracting metadata from microformat and RDFa markup on pages to display "rich snippets" in search results. They recently expanded this support to include HTML5 microdata. They now use this markup to enhance results for people profiles, reviews, videos, events, and recipes. Rich snippets provide additional information to searchers beyond the typical title and description (such as star ratings, address information, and social network connection details). Google has now expanded this support internationally. (While the documentation is [...]


Google Adds More Answers & Info To Search Results

Google has announced a pair of changes to its search results pages that make its search results pages more informational and give searchers information they're looking for without having to click away from Google.com. Events In Rich Snippets Adding to last year's announcement of rich snippets for reviews and people, Google has created one for events, too. Using the hCalendar microformat, Google will show information and links to specific events as part of the snippet below a search result. If you offer event listings, check Google's documentation for more on how to use this. Note [...]


Yahoo Adds Facebook As A SearchMonkey Friend

Thanks to Yahoo's SearchMonkey, you'll be able to poke your friends right from a page of Yahoo search results. Yahoo has announced that Facebook enhanced results are now turned on by default across Yahoo search results. This means that any Facebook user who has allowed his/her profile to be publicly viewable and searchable can now be seen in the Yahoo search results with enhanced Facebook data. Here's an enhanced result for Danny Sullivan: The main link points to Danny's Facebook profile, and there are additional links to add Danny as a friend, view his friends, send him a message, a [...]


Yahoo Shows Wikipedia Some SearchMonkey Love

Yahoo has just announced that the Wikipedia SearchMonkey App is now turned on by default for all Yahoo search users. Wikipedia becomes the sixth app that all Yahoo searchers will see, joining LinkedIn, Yelp, Yahoo Local, Citysearch, and Zagat. SearchMonkey adds enhanced content to the search results page. The Wikipedia app includes a snippet of text from the Wikipedia article summary, deep links to the first four sections of the article, and a photo if the article has one. Here's a screenshot that Yahoo provided showing the Wikipedia app in action: With the new app, Yahoo now joins G [...]


Google Testing Enhanced Listings, “Pagelinks” & Auto-Spelling Correction

Google is testing a number of changes to its search results, including a way for select publishers to enhance their page descriptions, a way for searchers to jump to sub-sections of a web page and automatically correcting misspelled queries, to some degree.  Enhanced Listings The most dramatic of the changes involving reviews of products and services that appear on Yelp, Citysearch, CNET, TripAdvisor and Download.com. The system, which Google has yet to give an official name, allows these publishers to flag data on their web pages that can be extracted and shown within the page's [...]


Yahoo Adds Local Content To Search Results Via SearchMonkey

Yahoo has announced the addition of more local business content to their web search results thanks to Yahoo's SearchMonkey program. Yahoo has turned on the SearchMonkey applications for both Citysearch and Zagat; users don't have to opt-in to see enhanced content from those sites -- it's now turned on by default for all users. In fact, four of the five on-by-default SearchMonkey applications have local content. In addition to Citysearch and Zagat, Yahoo Local and Yelp are also showing enhanced listings for all users. (The fifth on-by-default app is LinkedIn.) This is big news for local b [...]


Wikia Search Releases Third Party Search Enhancement Platform

Wikia Search, the "open source" search engine that launched to great fanfare earlier in the year, has introduced a new platform (Wikia Intelligent Search Extensions or "WISE") that allows third parties to provide an enhanced search result—known as a "WISEApp"—for specific keywords. WISEApps allow publishers or searchers to enhance search results, in a similar way to Yahoo's Search Monkey or Google's SiteLinks enhancements. For example, the Washington Post WISEApp provides people searching for specific information, such as "Barack Obama" or "John McCain", with relevant news stories fr [...]


Wikia Introduces “Evolution” Toolbar To Expand Reach To Other Search Engines

Like many before it, most recently Mahalo, Wikia Search has introduced a Firefox toolbar, called "Wikia Evolution," to expand the site's reach and engage more users in the process of adding and annotating search results. In the notes, it suggests that Google is taking a page from its community playbook: "Already, we’re the cutting edge when it comes to incorporating user feedback into our search results, so much so that Google is experimenting with eerily similar features." The new Wikia toolbar allows users to add URLs/pages to the Wikia index (from wherever they are online) and edit or [...]


Yahoo! SearchMonkey Enhanced Listings Available To Searchers

As I reported last week, Yahoo SearchMonkey applications are now available to searchers. The Yahoo Search blog posted details last night, saying that searchers can now add SearchMonkey applications via either the gallery (which is in beta) or through promoted links from application developers or web sites. The gallery contains only 39 applications so far (only a select subset of applications make it to the gallery), and several are from Yahoo properties. It's unclear if the remaining gallery applications were created by third-party developers or by the web site owners (several are simply credi [...]


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