Big Three Make SchemaThe world’s three biggest search engines have joined forces to launch a new website with tips and tricks on how webmasters can increase their SEO rankings and ensure they are being categorized for relevant search terms.

The new venture was announced June 2, 2011 by Google, Microsoft Bing and Yahoo, and comes as a surprise considering how often the trio battle for power. The move is also surprising given how recently Google and Microsoft were at each other’s throats over the accusation that Bing was copying search results from Google in an attempt to produce more relevant search pages.

Google announced the new site in a blog post, saying the site is a place to support a common vocabulary for “structured data markup”. With the site, developers and webmasters can now learn about SEO terms such as structured data, and improve “how their sites appear in major search engines… The site aims to be a one stop resource for webmasters looking to add markup to their pages,” the blog says.

On the site, webmasters will find descriptions of various SEO techniques, including tutorials on how to include certain HTML pages on their websites so Google, Bing and Yahoo will be able to determine what the content of that site contains.

Reseo chief executive Chris Thomas explains that Google is catering to a specific type of webmaster here, specifically those that are using HTML to create interactive websites that aren’t heavy on text and don’t provide a lot of content for search engines to index.

“Many aren’t using Flash because Apple doesn’t support it, so they’re creating these new types of sites which are friendly, but the issue is from a search engine optimization point they are right at the cutting edge of what a search engine wants in terms of content that is tightly themed.”

Thomas says webmasters can now use this type of language to improve the search engine rankings of their interactive pages. “So these types of mark-ups enable you to get the best of both worlds. At the same time as they allow a rich, interactive experience they are also fully searchable on the search engine index.”

Google said in its blog it wants to make the “open web richer and more useful… and adding markup is much harder if every search engine asks for data in a different way”. “That’s why we’ve come together with other search engines to support a common set of schemas, just as we came together to support a common standard for sitemaps in 2006.”

Essentially, all three search engines are now using the same vocabulary.

“As webmasters add this markup to their sites, search engines can develop richer search experiences,” Google says.

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