Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Updated June 23, 2011

Doc Sheldon

It’s been an interesting few months! As always, someone, somewhere always had their scivvies in a bunch, over something!. Google Instant got a number of folks into an uproar, as did Google Scroll. Along came Panda, bringing with it, a predictable swarm of Article Marketing is Dead convos.

The New York Times started what seems to have become a campaign of outing sites for shady practices, and casting aspersions on the SEO industry, in the process. Doncha just love responsible journalism?

Google continues to be under fire, waiting for service of subpoenas from the FTC for its anti-trust investigation. The irony of them being accused of doing what the FTC gave them explicit permission to do seems to have escaped notice in Washington. But then, much escapes notice on the Beltway. Speaking of anti-trust!

Lots of folks are struggling to comprehend the nuances of social media and how/if it ties into SEO, what color hat they like to pretend to wear, and whether or not it’s okay to out sites doing things that they’d do, too, if they thought they could get away with it.

If I had more time (and perhaps more artistic ability), I’d just love to put together an infographic depicting the last few months. But alas, I’m both busy and decidedly unaesthetic, so I’ll leave the lads over at Click2Rank to that task… they’re pretty good at it.

And most recently, Google, Bing and Yahoo joined forces, as schema.org, to usurp the position of the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium), and declared microdata as the RDF d’jour.

Manu Sporny, the Chair of the RDF Web Applications Working Group at W3C, was more than a little disappointed about both the way this was done, and indeed, the fact that this threesome felt their actions were acceptable. I can’t disagree with him on those points.

Personally, I’m puzzled as to their choice of microdata over either microformats or RDFa. I certainly think that RDFa would have been a much better choice, for reasons of flexibility and scalability. But why they would choose the least suited escapes me.

Their stated reasons for their action center on expeditiousness. They felt it was simply taking too long the way the W3C was going about it. Well, that’s not without some merit. But then, the W3C was attempting to crowd-source a major project, with far-reaching implications. If they had instead, simply gathered a small group from among three major competitors with common ulterior motives, and agreed upon a unilateral path, they could probably have moved a lot faster, too.

The end result? In my opinion, schema.org may precipitate a more rapid deployment of the technology. That’s yet to be seen. But if that’s technology that falls far short of the goal, where’s the benefit?

Two steps forward, one step back? We’ll see.

 

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