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Semantic Data & Semantic Web

Adding machine understandable data into to your web content.

Semantic Web p-r

What to use

JSON-LD, RFDa, OWL, MicroData - these are just some of the different Languages / Vocabularies used for Semantic Web Content, and there are many many more too. So with all these different types what should we use?

First of all, you'll find that you'll probablly using some form of Semantic content already, bookmarks, time, events etc are described by their HTML structure. There's no need to stop using them.

Really we want to add a little extra sugar to make sure machines can understand the content.

Given the following :

JSON-LD is the recommended format. Google is in the process of adding JSON-LD support for all markup-powered features. ... We recommend using JSON-LD where possible.


My preference is to use JSON-LD too.

JSON-LD is super easy

It's easy to add JSON-LD to your pages, it's little more than some extra JavaScript with a special attribute.

For example :

<script type="application/ld+json">
  "@context": "",
  "@type": "Thing",
  "name": "My Thing"

Yep, this is valid, Thing is a Thing and a Thing is valid type!

But what types of Things are there?

To find out what properties & Types are avaliable, check out the site. Find a relevant type, such as Product and generate JSON to represent the avaliable properties.

Simple ASCX

Lets take the Product type and fill it will some values from a DataItem, oProduct :

<script type="application/ld+json">
  "@context": "",
  "@type": "Product",
  "name": "<%=oProduct.cMainTitle%>",
  "image": "<%=oProduct.oMainImg.cURL%>",
  "description": "<%=oProduct.cMetaDescription%>",
  "mpn": "<%=oProduct.cMPN%>",
  "brand": {
    "@type": "Thing",
    "name": "<%=oProduct.cManufacturer%>"

Add the control to your page and test it in the Structured Data Testing Tool

Structured Data Testing Tools

This is what the JSON-LD aboe would have generated. As you'd expect, there are many many more optional fields for sizing, procing, reviews etc. use the site as a reference.

What has Google Found?

To find out what portions of your Structured Data have been found by Google, WebMasters, AKA Search Console, is the tool you'll need to use.

Open the follwing link :

Select a property, and it will list the different types of Structured Data the bots have found. Please note it can take a number of days for changes to start appearing.