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Yahoo Search Casts Lots with Semantic Web Technology

Yahoo takes a stand on search

Yahoo has announced it will adopt some of the key standards of the "semantic web."

The company will incorporate some semantic web identifiers when indexing its search engine, reports BBC News.

Yahoo's search will pull together semantic info scattered across the web, giving other sites a reason to adopt semantic web standards like RDF and microformats, according to TechCrunch.

Currently, search engines — including Google — identify the relevance of a topic using interconnections between sites. The semantic web instead captures the context of data on a page, giving machines the ability to parse out the relevance of a given topic.

Yahoo Director of Product Management Amit Kumar said despite progress on how to classify webpages, the benefits have generally not been felt by the average user. Semantic web identifiers will help users hone in on exactly what they're looking for in a search.

For example, instead of searching for hotels in Miami and having to sift through results that include hotels, travel vendors and hotel deals, one could query for Miami hotels that allow pets, are five minutes from the beach and cost no more than $150 per night.

Semantic web standards would also give users the ability to read microformats on profile pages on social network site LinkedIn.

Because LinkedIn's structured data is included in the Yahoo index, a search could offer up links to a user's connections, enabling direct contact, an introduction, or the ability to view the full profile.

Any third party could create mods for Yahoo search that leverage the semantic data. It's part of a company shift to become more open.


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