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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Yahoo Search Takes Aim at Semantic Web

Yahoo Inc. announced that it will support various Semantic Web standards
in its new Search Open Platform, the latest move by the company to
embrace the emerging Web framework. The company also disclosed more
details about its plan to open its search engine to third party developers.
Yahoo said that its support of standards like microformats and RDF
(Resource Description Framework), are aimed providing users with better
search results by improving the understanding of content and the
relationships between content. For example, the new Web standards would
ensure the inclusion of pertinent data, such as a person's name, location,
current job specialties, number of contacts and a link to get introduced
to that person, to a LinkedIn profile found via Yahoo Search, the company
noted. "With a richer understanding of LinkedIn's structured data
included in our index, we will be able to present users with more
compelling and useful search results for their site," noted Amit Kumar,
director of product management for Yahoo Search, in a blog post. Kumar:
"While there has been remarkable progress made toward understanding the
semantics of web content, the benefits of a data Web have not reached
the mainstream consumer. Without a killer semantic Web app for consumers,
site owners have been reluctant to support standards like RDF, or even
microformats. We believe that app can be Web search." Yahoo also
announced that it will launch a beta tool to let third parties add data
to Yahoo Search results within several weeks. Using this tool a restaurant,
for example, could add reviews or other data to Yahoo Search results for
queries about the eatery. Developers can build enhanced results
applications by accessing structured data that Yahoo will make available
through public APIs and in its index. The structured data is available
to Web site owners through feeds or the supported semantic Web standards.

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