Yelp…is…essentially a poster-child for semantic markup. This spring, Google’s introduction of rich snippets has allowed Yelp’s listings in the SERPs to stand out more, attracting consumers to click more due to the “bling” decorating the listings in the form of the star ratings.
There are now some very good reasons why sites with ratings and reviews should be adopting microformats, and it’s not that hard to do! For a more detailed explanation, read my recap on the subject, Why Use Microformats?
Despite all the smoke and hype, Ed Felton explains that it’s underwhelming, at most. Still, hNews might be an interesting format for some blogs to adopt. Most of what the AP is rattling their saber about is in the rights (containing ccREL declarations). Felton thinks the dependence on ccREL may extend derivative usage rights, rather than limit them. ccREL, after all, “states unequivocally that it does not limit users’ rights already granted by copyright and can only convey further rights to the user.”
Okay, so hNews mightn’t be so bad, but what’s good about it? It brings together a number of pieces that we all expect in a news story (and many other stories). It makes it easy to identify the dateline and geocoding of a particular story, as well as the publisher and its principles.
Google’s own webmasters help site recommends microformats and RDFa structured data to improve indexing and usefulness of the data. Review metadata appears to have full support, while people, product, and business data are in beta.
A tip from <a href="http://blog.ryaneby.com/">Ryan</a> sent me <a href="http://identityfuture.com/story/idm-microformats-microid/">looking</a> at <a href="http://microid.org/">MicroID</a>: <blockquote>a new Identity layer to the web and <a href="http://microformats.org/">Microformats</a> that allows anyone to simply claim verifiable ownership over their own pages and content hosted anywhere.</blockquote> The idea is to hash a user's email address (or other identifier) with the name of the site it will be published on, giving a string that can be inserted -- in true Microformats style -- as an element of the html on the site. » about 400 words
Oliver Brown introduced me to microformats a while ago, the Ryan Eby got excited about them, then COinS-PMH showed how useful they could be for libraries, but I still haven’t done anything with them myself (other than beg Peter Binkley to release his COinS-PMH WordPress Plugin). What are microformats? Garrett Dimon explains the theory: When […] » about 300 words