What is the Semantic Web?
The term Semantic Web refers to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) vision of building a Web of linked data. By using a common framework, structured data can be efficiently shared, discovered, integrated and reused across different applications.
Semantic Web technologies enable people to create data stores on the Web, build vocabularies, and write rules for handling data. Linked data are empowered by technologies such as RDF, SPARQL, JSON-LD, OWL, SHACL and SKOS.
Source: W3C Semantic Web / Wiki
Semantic Web Technologies
Below is a great series of lectures (47 videos!) about Semantic Web Technologies by openHPI, an educational Internet platform of the German Hasso Plattner Institute, Potsdam. Check out all their free courses.
The Semantic Web field – where are we now?
Pascal Hitzler, a German American computer scientist specializing in Semantic Web and Artificial Intelligence, discusses “A Review of the Semantic Web Field,” a Review Article in the February 2021 Communications of the ACM. Make sure you watch the video and read the article!
Semantic Web is part of the next evolution of the Web (Web 3.0) which is built around decentralised data and artificial intelligence (AI). It complements AI and Machine-Learning (ML) by adding background knowledge to these systems.
The future of data on the Web will be less human-centric and more geared toward non-human consumers such as bots, search engines, AI and other types of computer systems.
Encoding structured data
As we’re heading toward the future of a fully Semantic Web, it’s good practice to start encoding structured data as much as possible using Open Graph, JSON-LD, RDFa and Microdata.
As a bonus, it will improve SEO by making it easier for Google to understand what your website / page is about.
Related links / resources:
- Semantic HTML and Web Accessibility
- The Open Graph protocol
- A Guide to JSON-LD for Beginners
- RDFa 1.1. Primer
- HTML Microdata
- Why Using Structured Data Helps Your Website’s SEO
- JSON-LD Schema Generator for SEO
- Understanding how structured data works (Google)