Yahoo today has announced that soon it will support microformats and other semantic web standards. This move seems to have come as part of Yahoo's ever growing initiative towards a more open search platform.
The Yahoo Search blog on which the announcement was made said, "By supporting semantic web standards, Yahoo! Search and site owners can bring a far richer and more useful search experience to consumers. For example, by marking up its profile pages with microformats, LinkedIn can allow Yahoo! Search and others to understand the semantic content and the relationships of the many components of its site. With a richer understanding of LinkedIn's structured data included in our index, we will be able to present users with more compelling and useful search results for their site. The benefit to LinkedIn is, of course, increased traffic quality and quantity from sites like Yahoo! Search that utilize its structured data."
So from now on the site owners can markup pages with microformats like hCard, hCalendar, hReview, hAtom and XFN to the HTML code on a page, or create structured feeds using RDF. Further by using these open standards, site owners can classify certain elements on the page as contact information, events, reviews, episodic content, etc. The microformats is already being used by LinkedIn.
Further, Amit Kumar, Director, Product Manager at Yahoo! Search said that, the Yahoo! Search open platform will be open to all third party developers. And soon it will also launch a beta program for a tool that developers can use to build Enhanced Results applications for the Yahoo! Search platform. "The data is already there, we just need to give people a reason to identify it. Content owners want to expose their structured data, but so far there's been no killer consumer application giving them a reason to do it. Search can be that killer app," Kumar said. Certainly, this development comes closely followed by Yahoo! Search Index Update. Watch this space for more upcoming developments.