The semantic web is often referred to as the “next phase” of the world wide web. It’s also sometimes referred to — perhaps pretentiously — as “Web 3.0″. Wrapped up in this semantic web is an appearance of artificial intelligence as it involves computers “understanding” content (eg: teaching a machine that “Africa” is a continent and that “Barack Obama” is person and politician).
Semantic tagging for dummies
Adding semantic power to your website content essentially involves adding machine-readable metadata to your articles or posts that denote relationships and meaning. This could involve tagging your content according to various categories, such as certain words in an article referring to people, places, companies and/or types of technologies. This metadata could appear as a database field or XML RSS attached to the content.
Why do it?
It’s important to add semantic power to your content because it allows your servers to find, extract, share, and re-use the information. Tagging your content in the semantic sense will allow a computer to “know” that Tony Blair or George Bush in your article or post are in fact people, or that the United States of America is a country, and Africa a continent. It gives context to the tags in your articles — and allows you to automatically do more with your content, such as build up an index of people mentioned on your site or call up a map with the locations referred to in an article. In a search sense, it helps search engines deliver more relevant and accurate results.