Google adds support for hCalendar and hRecipe Rich Snippets

The first quarter of this year has seen Google really make tracks with Rich Snippets, which they announced back in May of last year, with microformat implementions popping up in results for all manner of content.

hCalendar

One of the original, and certainly most obviously useful formats, hCalendar has made major head-roads in being adopted across the web as a standardised way to mark-up event information. Those who took the time to add this format to their site are now reaping the benefits, with Google clearly making the most of this rich data.

hRecipe

hRecipe is certainly a relatively young format, but always looked to be a promising starter bringing the timeless interest of geeks and food together.

With a view to make organising your summer BBQs simpler this year, Google have made a major update to their search result pages which now highlight recipes in the results, showing important information such as ratings, cooking and prep times. The information being displayed is formed from extracts of hRecipe marked up data.

hRecipes in Google results

Mark Wunsch, a developer for FoodNetwork and Prism parser, who now finds his microformatted recipes displayed on Google search results pages had this to say:

When we revisited our recipe pages on FoodNetwork.com a few months ago, it was one of our priorities in Front End Engineering to embed hRecipe. We knew that it would be only a matter of time for tool support to come along to utilize our recipe data. As Front End Engineers, we have real control over what are pages output, and we have a real opportunity maximize the amount of data that a tool like Google can glean from our markup. It would be a poor practice to not take advantage of microformats when something as powerful as Google recognizes their importance.

There’s further work to do with ironing out the kinks in the hRecipe format, but I think this certainly shows the benefit of being an early adopter and getting these formats out into the wild for real stress-testing. Congratulations to all those involved!

With Google now officially supporting these two formats, plus people and reviews, we eagerly anticipate their further adoption of additional microformats into Rich Snippets.

This Fortnight in Microformats

A bumper round up of microformats from 4th–17th December 2006

New implementations

  • Alex Faaborg of Mozilla Labs has announced availability of ‘Operator’, a Firefox extension written by Michael Kaply at IBM (download from Firefox Add‑ons). Operator detects hCard, hCalendar, geo, hReview and rel-tag and allows you to combine those microformats with desktop applications and web services such as Google Maps and Yahoo! Calendar. Alex has also written some accompanying introductions to microformats and collected comments in mozilla.apps.dev.firefox.
  • Also for Firefox, the popular Tails extension has been updated to 0.3.6.
  • Nick Peters has written a Greasemonkey script called Social xFolk to highlight xFolk microformatted bookmarks. It appends ‘Add to Delicious’ and ‘Add to Magnolia’ buttons in the page.

On the Wiki

From uf-discuss

  • Ted Drake is interested to see if the recipes microformat brainstorming can move on with a request for real-world examples and experiments
  • With Mars and the Moon getting in the news, Andy Mabbett has redrawn attention to the Mars and Luna extensions to Geo.
  • Jason Garber asked about rel=”muse” in XFN, wanting a means to indicate professional respect towards a person, rather than ‘romantic’ respect. For clarification, that category of values in XFN is ‘romantic’ as-in ‘romanticism’, and are not intentionally restricted to love-interest.
  • Off the back this XFN discussion came discussion about a so-called ‘XPN’ (an ‘XHTML Professionals Network’ microformat). In response to this, there’s interest in identifying real-world implementations that could benefit by publishing professional relationships (think employee/employer, clients, sub-contractors and so forth). If you are involved with or know of sites that could harness such distributed professional networking, please get in touch on the list.
  • Taylor Cowan is looking for more semantic detail on Q&A mark-up; going beyond the humble definition list. As usual, real-world examples are collected on the wiki and discussion should take place on the list.

On the web

  • Following the healthy bloom of new cheat-sheets Brian Suda has updated his Microformats Cheatsheet PDF.
  • Roger L Costello has created a comprehensive hCard presentation (using S5). Not only does it provide an introduction to using hCard it also provides detail on use of class="value" for properties, and the flexibility enabled by an oft‑overlooked feature.

‘This week in microformats’ aims to highlight the most active microformats discussion published in the preceding week by monitoring the microformats discuss mailing list, and the microformats tag on Technorati (and elsewhere). If you’d like to alert the editors to something, add a ‘thisweekinmicroformats’ tag.

This week in Microformats #2

A quick-fire round up of microformats for the week of November 27th.

On the Wiki

  • Andy Mabbett has created some property cheat-sheets for adr and geo — small microformats most commonly found in hCard but which can be used separately as well.
  • To cope with the sheer number of examples and implementations now amassed for hCard, hCalendar and hReview, Andy Mabbett and Tantek Çelik have separated the lists of examples‑in‑the‑wild (hCard, hCalendar, hReview) and implementations (hCard, hCalendar, hReview) into separate pages. This seems an ideal cue to restate that anyone is entitled to include their implementations and microformat deployments on these pages. Just please link directly to the page where microformats can be found (rather than, or at least in addition to a front‑page).

From uf-discuss

Also, there’s ongoing discussion about the preference of using a mailing list over other collaboration mediums (such as message boards and IRC). The list is here to stay, but Edward O’Connor has linked to an RSS feed provided by Gmane, allowing you to subscribe to new posts without signing up for the mailing list.

On the web

  • The WHATWG Blog has announced the addition of a new link type in HTML5 for linking to feeds (rel="feed"). The post notes that this can make auto-discovery easier and also makes linking to hAtom feeds tidier.
  • One post that got away from the decentralised‑social‑networking round‑up last week was Glenn Jones’ excellent piece on how XFN‘s rel=me can already provide a strong backbone for spidering identities over the internet. See also Sarah’s post on Portable social networks.

‘This week in microformats’ aims to highlight the most active microformats discussion published in the preceding week by monitoring the microformats discuss mailing list, and the microformats tag on Technorati (and elsewhere). If you’d like to alert the editors to something, add a ‘thisweekinmicroformats’ tag.

Yahoo Local Supports Microformats

Yahoo Local has announced that they’re now publishing their data in microformats. Included are hCards, hCalendars and hReviews.

I’m not sure how many instances of data this is, but its likely in the millions. Add that to hundreds of thousands of events on Upcoming.org, thousands of reviews on Yahoo! Tech and millions of hCards on Flickr profiles and Yahoo! is easily the largest support of microformats today.