Google supports RDFa and Microformats

May 12th, 2009

Google has announced that it will begin to recognize structured information encoded as metadata in either RDFa and in Microformats and use the metadata in search results snippets for reviews and people.

“Structured data makes the web a better place. It also helps Google better understand and present your page in search results. … Google’s first use of this data will be in search results snippets for two kinds of objects: Reviews and People. Providing more detail in search results helps users to understand the value of your pages. When users get more information showing how your page is relevant to their search, they’re more likely to click through to see the full page. … At Google, we believe in openness, so we are using two open standards to allow you to annotate structured data on your site: microformats and RDFa. Both standards allow markup of information on your pages.”

This is a case where Google is following Yahoo, which announced more general support for RDFa and microformats last Fall in their Search Monkey.

We expect that this is work in progress. While it’s great that Google is supporting RDFa annotations, they are asking people to start with the new RDF vocabulary defined at their site rather than reusing or integrating with existing, widely used vocabularies. Let’s hope that they embrace the LOD vision in the near future.