The world of the internet has had multiple attempts to “classify” all information. Now a new iniative, Schema.org, is attempting to promote the use of microdata to help create more relevance in search engines. This is a huge step in the world of the web, but more importantly something that any enterprise should be following in their enterprise search strategy.
So most will ask what is the overall purpose. Well to make it simple, search engines are dumb. They have no way to understand what people are talking about effectively without the use of some terms, or some standardized markup languages. So, the most effective way to do this is using “microdata”. Microdata is simply a structured way to “tag” your content in the coding of your site to call out these important ideas. For instance the most prevelant microdata tag has been leveraged since the beginning of the web. This tag is the tag “Title” this is what search engine’s see as the title of your page. Simple, right?
Schema.org, with the support of Google, and other search companies are beginning to create a globally accepted set of schemas for webmasters to use. To quote Schema.org “Schema.org provides a collection of shared vocabularies webmasters can use to mark up their pages in ways that can be understood by the major search engines: Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo!”
This concept is straight forward, and if you review some of their schemas you will see that it isn’t quite complete but rather full. However, this concept is still something that isn’t followed by most Enterprises when looking to implement an enterprise search application. Most feel that their organization doesn’t need a single taxonomy, or that their taxonomy needs to be quite large, etc. But as you can see, if the content of the world can be simplified, so can your company.
Again “search engines have a limited understanding of what is being discussed on those pages”. This isn’t unique to the web, but rather to all search engines. So the basic rule of thumb, create a simple taxonomy for your company. Make sure that your tools create as much of this automatically for users, or make it simple for them to add.
Lets see where this goes… heck Google already uses it to show their Recipe filter and functionality!