At the upcoming March 25 meeting, the group will explore what it means to do business on the web scale. This post is the second in a series of two blogs posts on the topic of making metadata scalable for the web. You can read the first post here.
There are numerous announcements peppering the web that library systems are now incorporating Schema.org to enhance search engine optimization (SEO). VuFind, an open source ILS developed and maintained by Villanova University’s Falvey Memorial Library, recently released VuFind 2.2 with Schema.org microdata integration for their OPAC.
In October, Koha 3.14.0 was released with support for Schema.org microdata in their open source OPAC. Evergreen, another open source ILS is now doing the same. Way back in 2012, OCLC added Schema.org mark-up to their WorldCat bibliographic records–
Exciting times, right? So how exactly is Schema.org enhancing the discoverability of a library’s collection via a web search? I was able to locate three libraries from a list of websites using Schema.org.
George Washington University Libraries is using Schema.org on their FindIt library service. I discovered the following Breashears & Salkeld book: http://findit.library.gwu.edu/item/3491155.
Searching “Last climb : the legendary Everest expeditions of George Mallory” in Google equals no hits for GWU Libraries. Nothing. Perhaps I am not understanding the functionality of the FindIt API and how it differs from a traditional OPAC, but I thought something would appear—especially since GWU Libraries took the time to use the following Schema.org itemprop tags:
- <img itemprop=”image” id=’cover-image’ src=’http://covers.openlibrary.org/b/isbn/0792275381-M.jpg‘ title=’cover image from Open Library’ alt=’cover image’/>
- <span itemprop=”name”>Last climb : the legendary Everest expeditions of George Mallory / David Breashears and Audrey Salkeld ; foreword by John Mallory.</span>
- <span itemprop=”author”><a target=”_explorewindow” href=”http://surveyor.gelman.gwu.edu/?q=author%3A%22Breashears%2C+David%22“>Breashears, David</a></span>
- <span itemprop=”contributor”><a target=”_explorewindow” href=”http://surveyor.gelman.gwu.edu/?q=author%3A%22Salkeld%2C+Audrey%22“>Salkeld, Audrey</a></span>
The Goodreads result shown below was the second item generated from my Google search. Goodreads does use Schema.org—as you see the search generated more enriched data (i.e. ratings, stars, votes, summary, breadcrumb links). Unfortunately, I didn’t see any libraries that had unique information (holdings) display in my Google search—including WorldCat. Ditto for my Bing and Yahoo! searches.
Right now Schema.org seems to be adding value to search results for Google Scholar/Books, Amazon, and Good Reads. But wait—Amazon and Google Scholar/Books are not using Schema.org. [scratch head]
OCLC’s WorldCat has tons of rich bibliographic, relationship, user-contributed reviews, and holdings data and they are using Schema.org—why the heck aren’t their results generating holdings in their search displays? [still scratching head]
I applaud folks like those at GWU Libraries who have jumped in and implemented Schema.org. Why don’t you give it a shot and search for your favorite or most dreaded work. Any luck seeing value added data to your search results?