Zero Blue Links: Search After Traffic

Imagine a world in which there was still an internet, but no websites. A world in which you could still look for and find information, but not by clicking from web page to web page in a browser.

A world where you could search the web from any internet-connected device without needing to visit a website to start your search.

A world where search engines provided answers directly to your questions, rather than returning a list of websites where an answer might be found.

It's a world not all that different than our own, because of course we already live in a world where we can ask questions by diverse means on diverse devices and expect a direct answer in response.

But it's a pretty different world for conducting business on the internet from that which existed even few years ago, and it's especially different at the point where any sort of internet transaction is overwhelmingly likely to begin – with a search query.
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JSON-LD's Big Day at Google

Yesterday Google made three announcements which were not only relevant to practitioners of semantic search engine optimization ("semantic SEO"), but which also explictly expanded the role JSON-LD plays in the Google search universe.

As the name suggests, JSON-LD is JSON-based serialization for linked data – literally JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) for Linked Data (-LD). That is, a standards-based method of creating machine-readable data across websites.

You'll find some links to further resources about JSON-LD at the end of this article, but for those familiar with marking up HTML documents using microdata, RDFa or microformats, the salient practical point from a development standpoint is that JSON-LD does not need to be present in the <body> of a page. Instead it can be embedded in a <script> in the <head> of a page (or anywhere else in the page, for that matter).
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{ 4 comments } Gets Its Game on with v1.92

December 11, 2014 Gets Its Game on with Version 1.92

Dan Brickley of Google today announced a major new release of, in beta known as "venkman" (yes, after the Ghost Busters character) and released as version 1.92. This may well be the last 1.xx version. As Dan notes his announcement: With this update we "soft launch" a substantial collection of improvements that will […]

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A URL for Everything: Google's Physical Web

October 3, 2014
A URL for Everything: Google's Physical Web

In a tweet yesterday, Googler Scott Jenson proclaimed that he was finally able to announce his work on "an open web spec to 'Walk up and use anything." The name of this open standard is the "Physical Web" (with, indeed, its tagline being "Walk up and use anything") and its aim is nothing less than […]

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What is JSON-LD? A Talk with Gregg Kellogg

September 10, 2014
What is JSON-LD?

JSON-LD is everywhere. Okay, perhaps not everywhere, but JSON-LD loomed large at the 2014 Semantic Web Technology and Business Conference in San Jose, where it was on many speakers' lips, and could be seen in the code examples of many presentations. I've read much about the format – and have even provided a thumbnail definition […]

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The EU's Google Ruling and Our Right to History

May 13, 2014
Google and the EU: We Also Have a Right to History

Today's European Union decision that Google must be compelled to remove links, at a user's request, to information about a user that is (somehow) judged to "inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant" is all sorts of terrible. In the several hundred intervening years between the birth of Gutenberg and the birth of Google, millions of […]

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Five Years of Google Rich Snippets

May 12, 2014
5 Years of Google Rich Snippets

Today marks the fifth anniversary of the official introduction of Google rich snippets, announced in a Webmaster Central blog post of May 12, 2009. Google had been experimenting with "enhanced listings" as far back as December 2008, with review and product rich snippets being spotted in results for Yelp, Citysearch, CNET, TripAdvisor and The […]

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Google+ Snippet Customization Update

May 9, 2014
Google Plus Snippet Customization Update

Google+, like Facebook, allows publishers to control the appearance of snippets generated when users share a URL on their platform. The way in which publishers can customize Google+ snippets (referred to by Google as "article rendering") has changed since Google+ was originally launched. Initially it was possible for publishers, by manipulating the page code, to […]

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Google Adds Location Pages

April 8, 2014
Google Adds Location Pages

In a move sure to attract the interest of the local SEO community, Google's Pierre Far took to Google+ today to announce "support for structured data markup to help us surface the correct business info in Google search." As outlined in an accompanying Webmaster Central blog post, Google is using what it has christened […]

5 comments Read the full article Gets a Face-Lift

April 4, 2014 Website Gets a Face-Lift

As reported today by Dan Brickley, a new version of the website has been launched. The most significant change is that examples are now available in RDFa and JSON-LD in addition to the microdata examples previously provided. This addition of these examples fulfills one of the longest-standing requests from webmasters and search marketers, and […]

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