The Semantic Web automates activities that now require human intervention by structuring information on the Internet. In a few years, Semantic Web will enable your phone to alert you when you’re out of milk, locate a mobile grocery service cruising your neighborhood, and request a milk delivery to your door. The Semantic Web is a long way off from realizing its potential, but it is now powering search engines and that’s why advisors need to know about it.
The Semantic Web, a phrase coined in 1999 by Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the Internet, will utilize many computer languages and technologies to make machines talk to each other. One of the languages is HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language), the language of used to develop web pages.
In Web 2.0, standards are taking hold governing the use of HTML to program Web pages. For instance, the standard way of marking up text you want to emphasize on a Web page has been using <i> to format a font with italics or <b> boldface type. While tagging text with that code formats the typeface, it does not indicate how important the italicized or boldface information is.
Now, with the Semantic Web taking hold, the tag <em> (emphasis) is used instead of <i> or <b>. The <em> tag is one of many Semantic HTML tags that can be used by search engines to index information on the Web.
Web crawlers used by search engines to index information on the Internet now look for Semantic HTML tags to determine the most important ideas on a page. The Semantic Web thus automates a process that once could only be accomplished with human interaction and allows search engine algorithms to make information the Web more useable and seaerchable.
For advisors, understanding the Semantic Web is important because it enables creating a site that is easy to be indexed by search engines. The easier it is for search engines to index your website and understand the information it contains, the better your search engine results will be.
At Advisor Products, we now program websites using Semantic HTML. This makes it more likely that advisors with Advisor Products websites will be ranked higher by search engines.
In addition, our BackOffice content management system, which is packed with features for managing financial advisor websites, includes a user-friendly “what you see is what you get” (WYSIWYG) editor that creates Semantic HTML.
WYSIWYG Web-page editors allow advisors and their staff to changes on their website. These user-friendly editors are used throughout the Web to post text to blogs, status updates, profiles and other Web pages. But they are controversial because they often don’t produce clean, Semantic HTML.
Advisor Products’ BackOffice HTML editor is programmed to allow financial advisors to produce Semantic HTML and boost advisor search engine rankings.
Semantic HTML provides six levels of heading tags, tagged as H1 through H6.Search engines will give more weight to the text within these tags. But you must select Heading 1 through Heading 6 to use these Semantic HTML tags.
In addition to making it easy for you to post Semantic HTML, we are hand-coding HTML tags where needed when financial advisors purchase any of our search engine optimized (SEO) copywriting solutions.