Yes. Microformats let you tag individual pieces of information on a web page so that you know what they’re about. So, for example, instead of just putting:
on my page, I could add a little markup to it:
<span class=”fn”>Ian Lurie</span>
<span class=”org”>Conversation Marketing</span>
Ignoring the weird stuff, I basically tagged my name as a person’s name (with ‘fn’) and my organization as Conversation Marketing (with ‘org’).
If you’re using a newer browser, roll your cursor over this and see what happens:
That lets compatible web browsers and other programs do neat things like, say, automatically pull this data into a vcard.
So yes, Microformats are very, very relevant. Any time you can make your page more semantically structured, and tag information more effectively, you should.
Also, I suspect that Microformats are beginning to play a roll in search engine rankings. Even if they aren’t on major players like Google, I’d be shocked if we didn’t see microformat-driven search tools soon.
I’ll be exploring this more later. Let’s see what happens with the Microformatted info I just added to this post…