Lest we forget, social networks aren’t the only copycats. Search engines certainly do their fair share of feature and markup poaching, as evidenced this week by Google’s latest video search additions: understanding the microformat data from Facebook Share and Yahoo SearchMonkey RDFa.
Oh, sure, Google says they’re in it to help us find more (and more relevant) videos. As if their mission were cataloguing the world’s information and, like, making it accessible.
Google’s Webmaster Central blog announces the new capabilities to provide more contextual data about a video as a way for webmasters to get their videos seen in search results. (Previous help in this area came from video sitemaps and mRSS.) The post notes:
The full recommended code, including the embedded video (with a generic video ID), is available in the post and adds a meta (Facebook) or span (RDFa) elements to provide a title and description of the video.
The use of microformats like RDFa is hailed as a step toward the semantic web, since microformats are used to help convey meaning along with information—to help users and especially compatible software to better understand the data provided. They’re one of the more straightforward methods of adding meaning and delineating relationships in code.
But, of course, there’s no word on how this will integrate with YouTube, or whether adding microformat data to the embed code of a video hoested on another site will help it compete with relevant YouTube videos.
What do you think? Will you be using microformats to add more info to your videos for search engines? Do you host your videos on YouTube or somewhere else, and what kind of competition do you face?