[uf-discuss] Making Microformats Searchable

Nir Yariv niryariv at gmail.com
Sat Jan 20 17:38:04 PST 2007


I'm new on the list, so apologies if this was already discussed - I
couldn't find any mention of something like this on the Web.

I'd like to suggest a way to make microformatted content easily
discoverable to search engine queries. It's a pretty minor and not
very elegant as design goes, but I think it might help a bit to psuh
microformats closer towards a Semantic Web.

The idea is simply to have a standard text that can be added to a Web
page containing mf-ed content. For example, "mf_hReview". Since the
text exists outside of tags, it is indexed by existing search engines,
and thus a Google search for "mf_hReview Dylan Highway 61" would yield
reviews of that album. (Obviously there will be texts for
hCalendar/hCard etc, facilitating searches for "mf_hCalendar barCamp",
for example)

While the immediate benefit will be the above Google searches, the
later - and bigger -  one may come from sites that will provide a
tailored front end for data on a specific domain: restaurant reviews,
music events etc. Perhaps it's similar to what Edgeio does, but
leaving the content aggregation part to existing search engines, and
removing the pinging process altogether.

The key here is the text itself being a single agreed standard. Using
CSS it can be made invisible to users but indexable for search
engines. I realize this is pretty kludgy, but I believe at least some
publishers will pick it up it to make their data more accessible, and
in the longer view it might even help spread the use of Microformats
in itself.

I wrote about it a bit also here:

I hope this all makes sense. Would love to hear your comments :)

- Nir

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