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Hummingbird and the Semantic Web, Now and the Future

will the real meaning of Hummingbird show yourself

For over five years I’ve been following developments in the semantic web and the technologies that surround it. When Google recently announced the launch of Hummingbird conversations in the search optimization circles was suddenly filled with theories and observations many of which are just plain wrong. Irrespective of whether you consider Google to be the good guys or the bad guys the simple fact is that by introducing Hummingbird to the world, the semantic web has suddenly become mainstream. The reality is though that Hummingbird is just a small piece of a much larger puzzle that affects businesses of all size, in so many respects it’s just the tip of the iceberg. At thebeginning of October I presented a webinar ( see the video below ) that introduced the semantic web and its capabilities to the members of Network Empire. In the webinar I covered many different aspects of the web and how to get the best from it including, the organisations that set down the framework for how the web works, structured and unstructured data plus what companies Google bought and why.  With my co-presenters, Sue Bell and Russell Wright, we also covered the concept of entities, defined what spam is in a semantic age and provided real-world examples of how marketers, using today’s web, could avoid using spam to attract new business. In the short video below I’ve cut various snippets from the full two hour presentation (longer with the Q & A) that will give you a feel for what you missed and the excitement the attendees experienced.  And I just want to point out that using the information one of the attendees learned during this webinar, he was able to close a $20K+ deal just days after the event.   This was the first in a series of webinars leading to a new course for business and website owners who want to implement semantic technologies within their business. If you’d like to find out more please visit www.thesemanticrevolution.com. Enjoy the video. (BTW: Can those of you who might (or would) like to be a guest at the future events get in touch via the usual channels, thx)

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Posted in Semantic Web

Semantic SEO Leap as Google Supports GoodRelations

A major shift for search listing domination as Google supports GoodRelations. Imagine that you have spent hundreds of hours and thousands in cash getting your website to rank on the first page of Google and you find that your efforts become 30% less effective.  Don’t imagine – that time is here – now. For years there has been an ongoing struggle between the search giants and internet marketers, the marketers want to get their products in front of potential buyers and the search engines have been struggling to provide the most relevant results to the searchers using their services. Over the years the SEO industry has grown and the web is now inundated with a wealth of good and bad information about how to get a high website rank with the majority of that information focused on getting high Google rankings. Today everything changed with the announcement that Google supports GoodRelations. What is GoodRelations? GoodRelations (GR) is a standardized vocabulary for product, price, and company data that (1) can be embedded into existing static and dynamic Web pages and that (2) can be processed by other computers. This increases the visibility of your products and services in the latest generation of search engines, recommender systems, and novel mobile or social applications. GoodRelations is a language that can be used to describe very precisely what your business is offering and when used the search engines can display advanced eye catching listings that really stand out. Here is a standard listing: Here is a GoodRelations enhanced listing: (images courtesy of Hepp Research) What are the Implications for Search? In a word “Massive”. Here are just a few examples: Currently if you are at position number one for a search term you could assume that you will get around 60% of the available search traffic for that term i.e. if there are 10,000 unique searches a day you would expect to get around 6,000 of those unique visitors.  Now, if a competitor ranked at say number 5 has a visually enhanced GR listing it will be more eye catching and the rank advantage will be lost. As business implements GoodRelations mark-up for its products we can expect changes in the way comparison engines are used by searchers, these GR enhanced listings allow users to make choices based on price and other factors IN the search engine results page. This in turn leads to the new developments in specialist product aggregation sites.  The GR RDF mark-up is machine readable, meaning that new applications can extract precise, relevant product information from source.  This can be stored, combined and reused with other linked data.  i.e. all data about the same product can be linked from multiple source around the web. The most apparent form of linking that currently springs to mind are reviews.  Most ecommerce sites encourage users to write reviews and rate a product.  If 100 sites around the world sell the same model camera, mark up that product with GoodRelations and the reviews are

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Posted in Semantic Web

Google Metaweb: Semantic Open Linked Data Boost

what is metaweb and why do google want it

Freebase has been built by a community that loves open data.  For many first time visitors to the site, the words “An entity graph of people, places and things” might not sound sexy or form any mental association with improved ecommerce but the announcement that Google acquired Metaweb woke a few people up. The  Freebase blog announced Metaweb joins Google saying nothing would change other than “getting better, and yes, even more open”.  The hope is that the announcement will encourage even more individuals, institutions and companies to use and contribute to Freebase.. Why? Everyone involved in web commerce will benefit from the linking and reuse of open data.  By combining the ongoing development of core semantic technologies with new innovative ways of making the web smarter, such as linking  entities, there will be a sustainable improvement in efficiency and accuracy.  Here is Metaweb’s explanation of what an entity is. I’ll let you work out for yourself how the fundamentals might improve your business model. The importance of Things, marking things up and why. What next if you are in business? If  that sparked the neurons and opened your mind up to  a wealth of possibilities you’ll be jumping for joy to find out that semantic  ecommerce developments are well under way and a common ontology model (structured set of facts)  for describing products or services (making a product entity?) is already being used with success.   Search engines other than G have been reusing linked data for a while. As it says at the GoodRelations data space GoodRelations is a standardized vocabulary for product, price, and company data that can (1) be embedded into existing static and dynamic Web pages and that (2) can be processed by other computers. This increases the visibility of your products and services in the latest generation of search engines, recommender systems, and other novel applications. From an SEO perspective this is a game changer because the ecommerce data layer is all about verifiable facts from verifiable sources.  In a busy world would you want more words than you can verify instantly?    You can still add a human readable description but at this point in time the focus seems to be on providing the basics for a transaction to occur … but the opportunities are there.  It is very much a case of ‘work with the web and let the web do the rest’. Here is a cloudofdata.com podcast from February, 2010 where Paul Miller talks about GoodRelations, with Martin Hepp, and Jamie Taylor of Metaweb.  Listening to it is recommended for developers and others who want a better grasp of the capabilities of the web of data for buying and selling anything.   Second generation affiliate marketing will sound good to a few people I can think of as will open linked advertising space Also interesting in this interview was what Martin Hepp who (if you’ve not heard the name before is seen as one of the global thought-leaders on The Semantic Web)  said Freebase

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Posted in Semantic Web

Making Better Sense Of The Semantic Web

The semantic web is going to mean many things to each and every one of us and as the semantic layer, or framework integrates with the web we have currently, it will eventually affect every aspect of every business process. The good news seems to be that in general, business won’t need to change core processes because the technology uses it rather than the other way round.  Put simply, the semantic web is the process of making everything readable by computers so they can find meaning.  Once that’s all done then it gets really interesting. Once the web has readable data, all data can be used to make connections between people, documents, products, places, times, events.  Anything and everything.  Everything is linked in some way to something else. Once you start to think about ‘everything’ and absorb the enormity, it actually becomes quite easy to let your mind wander off and drift through the possibilities.  At some point, you then begin to see how this raw, collaborative sharing power will open up real doors of opportunity for existing and new businesses. Once data can be read and is understood by the new web, the way you control your research, advertising, marketing, search and business in general will never be the same.  Used in the right way and in the correct context we can genuinely expect

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