Do Microformats Matter?
Ian Lurie May 4 2007
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…
Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent Inc. He's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Forbes.com and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, SIC and ad:Tech. Follow him on Twitter at portentint. He also just published a book about strategy for services businesses: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle. Read More