You know how dogs and cats really don’t get along? Do you know who’s even worse than cats and dogs? Bing and Google. There are times when I’m pretty sure one or the other is literally trying to bite the other’s head off. Take, for example, the forceful statements from Google which stated that Bing was cheating by stealing Google results, or Microsoft’s repeated statements that Google is using outmoded formats for search. It’s a little surprising, then, to see Bing and Google work together – along with Yahoo! representatives – for a collaborative project. That project is schema.org, a markup education and standardization resource for webmasters.
Data markup is a tool used to provide rich data in the search sites, with examples including reviews, recipes, and events that you can see and interact with directly from the SERP. The search engines have used independent versions of markup for their search sites and have provided some resources for webmasters who want to be a part of this rich content. However, as Google Fellow Ramanathan Guha puts it, “adding markup is much harder if every search engine asks for data in a different way.”
That’s why schema.org was created: as a medium for standardizing practices so that results on Google, Bing, and Yahoo! can all take advantage of the rich content provided by webmasters, and as an official outlet for providing webmasters with up-to-date information on markup language, new markup categories, and more.
Markup on the whole is a project that’s had more than a few notable contributors, including linkeddata.org, dbpedia.org, SDSSSkyserver, and Cyc. The consolidation of information and the push for readily available markup data is almost guaranteed to be successful thanks to schema.org, however, since the search sites behind it represent more than 90% of monthly search traffic.
[via Inside Search]