What is the Semantic Web?


The internet is evolving all the time.

Since its inception, the World Wide Web has grown immensely and it isn’t going to slow down anytime soon.

One thing that has been an important development is something called the Semantic Web.

By the end of this short guide, you will know what the Semantic web is, how it works and what are the best examples of it.

What is the Semantic web

What is the Semantic web?

The term was first coined in 2001 and the term itself can be quite confusing because it often means different things to different people.

While webpages are designed to be read by humans, the Semantic Web makes it easier for computers to understand what is actually on a web page. So, the Semantic web defines data so that it’s more easily processed by computers. Not only this, but it makes it easier for computers to link between pages and sources too.

This means that informational retrieval is quicker and also much more accurate than before.

If this all sounds a bit confusing then don’t worry – we’re going to show you some examples of how the Semantic Web works in practice.

What is the best example of the Semantic Web?

Really the best example of the Semantic Web is something called Schema.org.

This mark-up allows search engines and other computers to understand what is on webpages and link them with other relevant information.

There are currently over 10 million sites that are using the Schema mark-up to organise and allow computers and search engines to better interpret the information on webpages. Essentially it means that search results will be much more accurate, richer and it will be easier for search engine to make connections between results to give you the best possible information.

Other Semantic web examples

What other examples are there of the Semantic Web?

#1 Complex search questions

One way in which the Semantic Web and Semantic Search greatly helps is with what are deemed complex search questions and queries.

Through the use of Semantic Web ontologies which are files that define the connection between various search terms.

Even with a complex search query through the use of Semantic search you will get better and relevant information as there is a flexible structure in place which ensures that complication relationships between webpages and sources are easily identified and grouped together.

#2 Simple search questions

It isn’t even just complex search terms that are made better by the use of Semantics, simple search questions are enhanced too.

In the past when you put a query into a search engine, let’s say ‘motorcycle exhausts’ you would get a list of all the webpages that contained the exact keyword.

Now when you put ‘motorcycle exhausts’ into a search engine you receive a wealth of information from local businesses displayed on a map to companies that offer this item but maybe don’t even contain the exact search term. This relationship is defined and built through the use of the Semantic Web and various factors rather than simply displaying every result that has your exact search term and omitting those that don’t.

#3 BBC and the 2010 World Cup

To use a more concrete example of how the Semantic Web can be used in practice we can look at the BBC and their website for the 2010 World Cup.

They built a publishing platform for the World Cup through various aspects of the Semantic Web which included:

• Content being automatically generated through the metadata in the RDF database

• Automated text analysis to extract tags

• Platform used an ontology model rather than relational schema

This dynamic Semantic publishing framework helped to change the way in which content is published online.

Semantic web and affiliate marketing

Marketers can also utilise the power of the Semantic Web.

We’ve already seen above how the proper mark-up can help with search results however it also has a place within PPC marketing too.

Semantic searches allow you to reach many new potential customers who may otherwise have not seen your ads. This new way of searching and grouping results isn’t just for big business rather it can be used by affiliate marketers to great effect as well.

The Semantic Web

The Semantic Web is not a completely new thing because it was never developed to replace the existing web.

It was designed to co-exist and to build on what is already there. It is a set of mark-up languages, processing tools and standards which is an extension of other standards which have been used for a long time such as XML, URL and Unicode.

Using Semantic search and Semantic mark-up not only greatly benefits themselves and their own site but contributes to creating a much better and more information-rich experience for the user too.

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