Semantic Web Technology
If you’ve reading news about search engine optimisation recently you will almost certainly have come across mention of the Semantic Web. But what is is it and how is it going to affect me?
The concept of the semantic web, sometimes referred to as Web 3.0 was “invented” by Tim Berners-Lee whose work with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has mapped out the future of the web, how search works, information sharing etc.
According to the W3C possibly the best definition of the Semantic Web is;
“The Semantic Web is an extension of the current web in which information is given well-defined meaning, better enabling computers and people to work in cooperation.”
In the semantic web, known information about things is identified and known as “entities”. For instance, do a Google search like; “what’s the time in SanFrancisco right now” and see what is presented. That information is known as the Knowledge Graph and takes up a whole lot of real estate in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
On the topic of search, Semantic Web expert Mark Traphagen, says that;
“…semantic search is Google’s growing ability to make associations between things in ways that come closer to how we humans make such connections”
Another leading authority on the emerging semantic web, David Amerland, says this about searching;
“At its most basic level semantic search applies meaning to the connections between the different data nodes of the Web in ways that allow a clearer understanding of them than we have ever had to date.”
Basically the semantic web isn’t a separate thing at all. Not at all. It’s just an extension of what we know right now. Rather, information in all its shapes and forms is better understood allowing people (searchers) and the Internet to get on so much better!
Of course, for businesses to stay relevant in the coming web environment, they need to stay abreast of all these changes. The best way to do this for many will be to engage a semantic web optimisation expert to navigate what could be very tricky waters