Google's Rich Snippets will lead us into Semantic Web

This February I wrote how search engines play an important role in emergence of Semantic Web, and now it is becoming a reality:

Google introduced a feature called Rich Snippets which provides users with a convenient summary of a search result at a glance. They have been experimenting with microformats and RDFa, and are officially introducing the feature and allowing more sites to participate. While the Google announcement makes it clear that this technology is being phased in over time making no guarantee that your site's RDFa or microformats will be parsed, Google has given us a glimpse of the future of indexing.

While I haven't seen any enhanced results yet in my searches, Search Engine Land had a screenshot of reviews being shown with a restaurant:

Google's enhanced search results

So far Google is using only review and person data, but they're also advising how to mark up company and product information. Yahoo! has been using microformats for a while now, too.

Once these "Rich Snippets" get rolled out a bit further the fact that Midgard-powered sites have been carrying microformatted content since 2005 will become a big advantage. With the Interactive Knowledge project we will start looking more seriously at RDFa too.

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