Google announced that it’s joining hands with arch rivals Microsoft and Yahoo to support common ways to represent web page metadata. A website called schema.org, would provide instructions for maintaining common metadata structures for websites.
What Schema.org would provide?
If I put name of my father, mother, sister and myself on a paper. How one could know of the relation among us. Anybody could know only when the relation is described in a language common to everyone.
Considering the same example in a different context, visualize myself, father, mother, and sister are 4 different webpages of a site. Now, how could the web crawlers of search engines(Google, Yahoo and Bing) know of the relation/link between all these webpages. There must be a common language/syntax for all search engines to understand.
That’s just what Schema.org is aiming to provide.
Schema.org contains the exact syntax to write metadata of a webpage, interpreted by all search engines. Without the structure provided by metadata markup, it can be difficult for search engines to know if a name on a web page is associated with some other data attribute.
Schema.org provides a common format for metadata written in the website header. Previously, different search engines interpret website meta information differently. So to decrease the complexity and providing a common way for search engines to interpret website’s metadata, IT giants collaborated. It would help websites to appear better in search engine results not only in Google, but also on Yahoo and Bing. It is a step towards making web much richer and less complicated.
Schema.org also includes the correct syntax and language for sitemaps (also available at sitemaps.org). Earlier search engines like Microsoft’s Bing, Yahoo accepts sitemaps in mainly html format. Google accepts sitemap in multiple formats like html and xml. In the near future, search engines would support only to xml based sitemaps. It would help in describing the website content in a way understandable to all search engines crawlers. This would simplify the web, and is good for search engines and webmasters.
Google Yahoo and Microsoft collaboration benefit for Webmasters
The project will empower web publishers the tools to make their web content more easily understood by search engines and more effectively represented on search results pages. However, a number of options are available to website makers when it comes to marking up pages, and the search engines considers a common standard will mean minimal amount of work for publishers and more accuracy in ranking results. With the use of these common tags across the Web, it would be much easier for Google, Yahoo and Microsoft’s Bing to identify, crawl and index structured data to their database.
The Schema project has already created more than 100 different HTML tags for structured data categories like events, organizations, people, places, products, reviews, ratings, movies and books, which empowers website administrators to tag data according to a given category.