nicolas leroy

More openness for Yahoo! Search

March 16, 2008

Following the recent announcement for Search Monkey, Yahoo! has given more details regarding its strategy to open its Search platform:

While there has been remarkable progress made toward understanding the semantics of web content, the benefits of a data web have not reached the mainstream consumer. Without a killer semantic web app for consumers, site owners have been reluctant to support standards like RDF, or even microformats. We believe that app can be web search.

By supporting semantic web standards, Yahoo! Search and site owners can bring a far richer and more useful search experience to consumers. For example, by marking up its profile pages with microformats, LinkedIn can allow Yahoo! Search and others to understand the semantic content and the relationships of the many components of its site. With a richer understanding of LinkedIn’s structured data included in our index, we will be able to present users with more compelling and useful search results for their site. The benefit to LinkedIn is, of course, increased traffic quality and quantity from sites like Yahoo! Search that utilize its structured data.

In the coming weeks, we’ll be releasing more detailed specifications that will describe our support of semantic web standards. Initially, we plan to support a number of microformats, including hCard, hCalendar, hReview, hAtom, and XFN. Yahoo! Search will work with the web community to evolve the vocabulary framework for embedding structured data. […]

Too sad hListing microformat is not in the initial list of supported semantic web standards, even if it’s understandable regarding its draft status. But clearly, this announcement is clever move by Yahoo! and it is good sign for better search results in the near future, including for indexed pages from shopping engines and retailers. And I wouldn’t be surprised if Google announces similar features in the coming months.