The Semantic Puzzle

Tassilo Pellegrini

Yahoo! embraces the Semantic Web

Yahoo! LogoWhat has been in the shade for several months now steps brightly into the sun: YahooYahoo! Inc. is an American public corporation headquartered in Sunnyvale, California,, that provides Internet services worldwide. The company is perhaps best known for its web portal, search engine, Yahoo! Directory, Yahoo! Mail, Yahoo! News, advertising, online mapping, video sharing, and ...! is heavily turning towards the Semantic Web. The underlying open-search-strategy is based on putting a stronger focus on microformatsA microformat (sometimes abbreviated μF) is a web-based approach to semantic markup which seeks to re-use existing HTML/XHTML tags to convey metadata and other attributes in web pages and other contexts that support (X)HTML, such as RSS. This approach allows software to process information ... and related metadata like Dublin Core, Creative Commons, FOAF, GeoRSS and MediaRSS but also RDFa and eRDF, embedded in HTML.

A recent Computerworld article from March 13, 2008 puts it like this:

Yahoo said that its support of standards such as microformats and RDF, or the Resource Description Framework, are aimed providing users with better search results by improving the understanding of content and the relationships among content.


Yahoo also announced that it will launch a beta tool to let third parties add data to Yahoo Search results within several weeks. For example, a restaurant could use this tool to 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 application programming interfaces and in its index. The structured data is available to Web site owners through feeds or the supported Semantic Web standards, Yahoo said.

Michael Arrington, a blogger at “TechCrunch,” wrote that Yahoo’s announcement means “we can expect the Web to get itself organized in a hurry. At stake is a significant amount of traffic from Yahoo search, and anyone that may choose to build applications on top of this data.”

In addition, Yahoo’s support for Semantic Web standards like RDF and microformats is the incentive Web sites need to adopt them, Arrington said.

“Instead of semantic silos scattered across the Web …Yahoo will be pulling all the semantic informationMetadata created for information (files, documents ...) following the Semantic Web recommendations. together when available, as a search engine should,” he added. “Until now, there were few applications that demanded properly structured data from third parties. That changes today.”

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Tassilo Pellegrini

About Tassilo Pellegrini

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: Prof. (FH) Dr. Tassilo Pellegrini (born 1974) studied International Trade, Communication Science and Political Science at the University of Salzburg and University of Málaga. Since end of 2007 he is running the New Media Division at the University of Applied Sciences in St. Pölten. He obtained his master degree in 1999 from the University of Salzburg on the topic of telecommunications policy in the European Union, which was followed by a PhD in 2010 on the topic of bounded policy-learning in the European Union with a focus on intellectual property policies. His current research encompasses economic effects of internet regulation with respect to market structure and basic civil rights. He is member of the International Network for Information Ethics (INIE), the African Network of Information Ethics (ANIE) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Publizistik und Kommunikationswissenschaft (DGPUK). Beside his specialisation in policy research and media economics Tassilo Pellegrini has worked on semantic technologies and the Semantic Web. He is co-founder and Head of Division Research and Development of the Semantic Web Company in Vienna, co-editor of the first German textbook on Semantic Web and Conference Chair of the annual I-SEMANTICS conference series founded in 2005.