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Friday, March 14, 2008

It's Semantic Web Time for Yahoo

Yahoo’s embrace of all things open continues today - expect an announcement in an hour or so that they are expanding their Open Search Platform that we wrote about last month.

In that previous announcement, Yahoo talked about their plans to allow third parties to alter and enhance search results with structured data that may be useful to users. Today, they’ll give more details on the developer platform and will announce support for a number of semantic web standards.

What does all this mean? It means we can expect the web to get itself organized, in a hurry. At stake is a significant amount of traffic from Yahoo search, and anyone else that may choose to build applications on top of this data.

Yahoo’s support for semantic web standards like RDF and microformats is exactly the incentive websites need to adopt them. Instead of semantic silos scattered across the Web (think Twine), Yahoo will be pulling all the semantic information together when available, as a search engine should. Until now, there were few applications that demanded properly structured data from third parties. That changes today.

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