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VMOptions Now Supports Semantic Data

December 12, 2012 07:57:59 PM

One of the greatest challenges for any web directory is to provide its users with highly relevant and valuable information. To accomplish this, it does require a great deal of effort on the part of editors and continual analysis of the information that visitors want to receive when visiting a web directory. As the result of our continued efforts to improve the value of our web directory for visitors and the businesses that list their websites with us, we are pleased to announce that VMOptions is now using microformat markup data in qualified listings.

Microformat markup is simply structured data, which is identified within the HTML code itself. The internet is comprised of mostly unstructured data, and the World Wide Web Consortium’s semantic web movement aims to changes this. When data is structured, it can be found easier by users and interpreted appropriately by search engines and other data aggregators as is expected in future Web 3.0 technologies. Because of its many advantages, VMOptions will now include microformat markup on qualified business and non-commercial listing detail pages.

For individual users, the adoption of microformat markup on VMOptions means that they will receive more detailed listing pages to view in our web directory. Those listings that include microformat markup will contain important contact information for business listings and other entities such as government agencies, non-profit organizations and many others. It is our hope that those visiting our web directory will find this additional information useful and reduce the time necessary to contact those organizations that they have interest in.

Those that choose to list their businesses in our web directory will also benefit from the use of microformat markup. By publicly displaying the current contact information for commercial and non-profit listings, consumers interested in their products or services will have fewer hurdles to overcome before reaching out and making first contact. Additionally, all major search engines interpret microformat markup including Bing, Google and Yahoo. These search engines typically use microformat data in determining who should appear in their search results pages and especially for local searches queries.

At the present time Google uses microformat data to interpret and display “rich snippets” such as those found in the search results pages for products, people, events and many other queries. We have fully tested our use of microformat markup using Google’s structured data testing tool, and encourage you to test one of our live listings located here. In addition to passing validation with Google, the HTML returned on our listing detail pages is also fully compliant with World Wide Web Consortium standards to ensure support among all leading web browsers.

To take advantage of our use of microformat markup, those submitting websites to our web directory may now provide editors with this data at the time of submission. However, our editorial review process has been modified and now requires that each editor include contact information for qualified submissions if it is publicly available. In other words, our editors will include this data in eligible listings regardless of whether it was supplied by the submitter or not, providing that the submitted website under our review has this information available. We simply feel that the use of semantic markup in our web directory is important not only for our users, but for those that have chosen to list their websites with us.

Further information regarding the utilization of structured data in our web directory, along with specific examples, can be viewed on our optimized local citations page.

As we announce the use of semantic markup on VMOptions’ listing detail pages at the end of 2012, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support throughout this year and in the future. It is our hope that your holidays will be pleasant and shared in the presence of close friends and family. While unique challenges will be met by many of us during 2013, it is our hope that your New Year is filled with joy and good health.

Happy Holidays!

VMOptions Staff

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