Many publishers use blogs to promote new products and engage customers. Dedicated blog readers will subscribe and receive every post, but the best way to reach a wider audience is still via search engines.
Embedding simple machine-readable code is a key component of the “semantic” Web, in which search engines don’t just treat Web pages as a jumble of keywords, but instead can understand their meaning.
Technology firm Adaptive Blue has recently released a scheme for tagging books, movies and other media to enable search engines to label media products appropriately. Because Adaptive Blue’s AB Meta is so new, there aren’t yet dedicated tools for it. Fortunately, the scheme is very simple and re-uses basic Web tagging. Publishers can use this scheme — today — to enrich blogs and product pages.
Using AB Meta with WordPress
- Download the HeadMeta plugin
- Unzip the plug-in and copy the headmeta folder to your wp-content/plugins directory.
- Enable the plug-in in the WordPress Plugin Management page (/wp-admin/plugins.php)
- When writing a new post, look under Advanced Options -> Custom Fields.
The Custom Fields form will allow you to set two items: a key and a value:
- The key will always be “head_meta”.
- The value will be in the following general format:
name=”an AB Meta field” content=”the field’s value“
Here’s an example for a book title:
To qualify as AB Meta content, one field is required and should always be added:
After that, you will add fields that are specific to your book content. Here are some examples from the Adaptive Blue site for the book The Kite Runner:
name=”book.title” content=”The Kite Runner”
name=”book.author” content=”Khaled Hosseini”
name=”book.tags” content=”fiction, afghanistan, bestseller”
name=”book.description” content=”Story of an Afghan immigrant.”
For WordPress, in the Custom Fields option, these would all be entered like this:
In the key field: head_meta
In the value field: name=”object.type” content=”book”
In the key field: head_meta
In the value field name=”book.title” content=”The Kite Runner”
… and so on, through all of the metadata fields to be included with the blog post.
What advantages are there to using AB Meta?
At the time of this writing, there are no applications that are specifically indexing AB Meta content. However, the scheme is quite simple, both for human and computer readers, and is likely to see widespread adoption. Tagging content with it now means that when these tools become available, you will already have significant inventory indexed. In addition:
- Many of the fields in AB Meta correspond to values in the Google Book Search API. This should make it trivial for Google to match articles about books to specific entries in Google Books, where customers can preview content before buying.
- It’s likely that tools based on Amazon Web Services will be built on top of AB Meta to allow those tags to generate direct or affiliate links to the Amazon.com book store.
- Some XML-based workflows already store book metadata in the Dublin Core schema, and AB Meta supports Dublin Core directly.
- Simpler blog plug-ins that support or even can auto-generate AB Meta are certain to be developed.
So get tagging! In the meantime we’ll continue to monitor progress of AB Meta in terms of adoption and tools.