Semantic search Microdata and...

User 2764672 Photo

Registered User
17 posts

I guess by now everyone building websites knows that today (April 21st) Google have begun implementing their latest algorithm intended to 'force' everyone into making their websites responsive and loaded up with Semantic Microdata comments. Despite this, one of my static sites is still showing up as the first site under the paid advertising. Its been that way for 4 years but this is only day one!

So I'd like to address the issue of semantic search for a new site I've almost got ready to upload. Either I am too old to comprehend the plethora of descriptions of what semantic actually is or the people describing it are from another planet.

I visited A simple enough, responsive website dedicated to the big three of search engines who apparently banded together to make the Internet semantic.The bit I liked most about this site is the 'before and after' version of an on-line invoice and the incredible complexity the author goes to in describing "The Thing" and its sub things.

OK ...Armed with the 3 hour experience of having totally stuffed up my first attempt at semantic micro-data I went looking for a site that would (might?) identify semantic items on my site.

The ambiguity of Wikipedia's first sentence relating to 'Microdata' says "Microdata is a WHATWG HTML specification used to nest metadata within existing content on web pages".

Wow... That's just the beginning too!

Here's their example of it in use:
"<section itemscope itemtype="">
Hello, my name is
<span itemprop="name">John Doe</span>,

And I though Ruby was hard to comprehend. is enough to scare off anyone contemplating coming to grips with semantic HTML anytime soon. Even W3C can't identify semantic data in a HTML5 file. Yet their reference to the "semantic Web" - How we identify thing is only ready for discussion, not implementation. I'm wondering if you need to be a Google programmer who participated in developing it to actually understand the stuff, much less write it.

From CC's description of The HTML Editor and the minuscule list under "Thing" I actually thought if I abandoned my beloved DreamWeaver for The HTML Editor, I'd end up with a semantic website before dark. WRONG!

I really would welcome someone enlightening this old boy as to how semantic coding can be used and how; Slash, Hash, Variables, Minting and TBD (things described by) fit into the Schema of a web page containing text and pictures. It seems to me that without a program to identify what needs semantic connotations, mere humans are never going to learn everything needed to write a magazine article and publish a digital version of it that will rank well.

What have I missed or don't I understand here?:rolleyes:
User 271657 Photo

3,816 posts

Ryadia, I feel your pain :(
My first and so far, only attempt at using semantic markup caused the page to fail a CSS valdation check, so I just stripped it all out and was glad I only tried one page. :P
I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by. (Douglas Adams)
User 1948478 Photo

Senior Advisor
1,850 posts

paintbrush wrote:
Ryadia, I feel your pain :(

Me too!
I'm hoping for the next major update from to make it all less clumsy and cumbersome.
Instructions and sample implementations provided by Google and, also need to be improved by an order of magnitude or so...
User 271657 Photo

3,816 posts

Thanks Per... So it's not just me feeling like my brain's gone to mush when I read through that stuff :P
I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by. (Douglas Adams)
User 187934 Photo

Senior Advisor
18,900 posts
Online Now

I have a few on one of my sites but just like you paintbrush it was failing validation so I only left the ones that passed.
I can't hear what I'm looking at.
It's easy to overlook something you're not looking for.

Here's my S-Drive site with
examples of what can be accomplished in VSD.
Here's my CoffeeCup SCCP Shop with examples of what can be done.
This is a site I built for my work.(RSD)
This is a site I built for use in my job.(HTML Editor)
This is my personal site used for testing and as an easy way to share photos.(RLM imported to RSD)
User 2764672 Photo

Registered User
17 posts

Rest easy guys...
According a book I read last night (no I'm not a speed reader I just read Chapter 3 to 7) Semantic, contextual data already exists in HTML5. I'm not often given to showing people my sites but I'll make an exception for this one. I built it from parts of a template and snippets I collect along the way. Have a look at the source and take note of the 'header' this is where (I'm told by an expert in Semantics) is where having semantic data is most important.
None of what I'm writing has been proven by me on several sites yet, I'm just passing on what the 'expert' told me. Have you ever wondered why a very large percentage of HTML5 - 'bootstrap' driven sites have the Navbar class in the header? Me too. Apparently its because this is where you structure your site Brilliant! By using drop down menus and describing the<li> lines in a way that goes from beginning to end, you've just accomplished enough structured semantic data for the search engine spiders to figure out what you website is all about.

Back up in to 'head' of your page the Meta name="title" and you need to use the full 70 characters Google put in the title of what they display in returns of a search. Then you need to use the full 155 characters Google use in your Meta name ="description".

Do this and you'll get from a Search for "Redlands Wedding Expos" the attached results. Outside Australia it may vary. Today my site is showing up as #2 under the paid sites. (See attached file) Not bad for a fresh site less than 2 weeks old and... All without a single asked for back link!

Let me know what you think. I'll see if I can get the author of the simple explanation of semantic data I've ever read to share it or some of it on my blog. If not I'll find the link to his site and post it here.

Have something to add? We’d love to hear it!
You must have an account to participate. Please Sign In Here, then join the conversation.