[uf-discuss] microformats for search engine spiders?

John Allsopp john at westciv.com
Tue Jan 16 14:59:59 PST 2007


> Myself and a colleague were discussing microformats today and we
> started wandering off on a tangent about the following.
> Would microformats be the way forward to mark defined areas of a web
> page for the sake of search engine spiders?  When anyone looks at a
> web page the instinctively break it into navigation, content,
> advertisements etc. What if we had standard names (microformats) to
> wrap these areas in to work in conjunction with the sitemaps.org
> standard in aiding the spiders to differentiate between the content
> area and, say, text-ads area.  You could then delve deeper into the
> XML file of your sitemap and tell it visit certain pages every day and
> then specify which section of that page they should concentrate on.
> I'd be interested in hearing if this a good use of microformats and
> whether it's worth pursuing.

Something related I started a while back, and on which I am speaking  
at IA summit is work on what I have called webpatterns


It's a pattern language approach to the architecture of web pages and  

My initial thoughts, and some quantitative research into the use of  
semantics in this way I published as "webpatterns and websemantics"  
late in 2005.


This work (which has interested me for years) is what brought me to  
microformats, as there are, IMO, many overlaps. In one sense you an  
categorize microformats as a subset of a broader pattern language for  
web design, focussing specifically on "data" (that's just conjecture  
at this stage, btw).
I actually don't think an XML sitemap file really would be required,  
because, like hAtom, the pages are "self annotating".

I'd be interested in your thoughts (and those of anyone interested in  


John Allsopp

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