Search Monkey Announces Support for Video, Games, and More

The Yahoo! Search Blog has just posted about how SearchMonkey now allows the embedding of video, documents, and games on the Yahoo! Search results page. Here on the YDN blog, we'd like to highlight a couple of technical notes.

First, this new program represents a significant new feature for SearchMonkey. Up until now, site owners and developers have had to first get their structured data into the Yahoo! Search index, and then go to the SearchMonkey Developer Tool to create a presentation. With this launch, SearchMonkey is starting to provide default treatments for certain types of data. Yahoo! Search is essentially saying, "Here are some patterns of structured data that we understand and will present in a certain way." If you would like to override our default treatment, you can always use the SearchMonkey developer tool to build a custom presentation.

Second, when it comes to understanding patterns of structured data, our approach is that There's More Than One Way To Do It. For example, the announcement on the Yahoo! Search Blog illustrates how to mark up a video using Facebook Share markup:

<link rel="image_src" href="http://thumbnails.hulu.com/9/967/32912_145x80_generated__VfWxSNY3rESG1ntOzexNRQ.jpg" />

<link rel="video_src" href="https://secure.hulu.com/embed/GREW9Qw0P7KjIyjJydQYRw" />

<meta name="video_height" content="296"/>

<meta name="video_width" content="512"/>

<meta name="description" content="Video description: Homer gets upset at a vending machine filled with apples."/>

<meta name="video_type" content="application/x-shockwave-flash"/>

But you can use W3C standard RDFa to do exactly the same thing, or even include additional data. Here's the equivalent markup in RDFa (namespace declarations omitted for clarity):

<link rel="media:thumbnail" href="http://thumbnails.hulu.com/9/967/32912_145x80_generated__VfWxSNY3rESG1ntOzexNRQ.jpg" />

<link rel="media:video" href="https://secure.hulu.com/embed/GREW9Qw0P7KjIyjJydQYRw" />

<meta name="media:height" content="296"/>

<meta name="media:width" content="512"/>

<meta name="dc:description" content="Video description: Homer gets upset at a vending machine filled with apples."/>

<meta name="media:type" content="application/x-shockwave-flash"/>

In the documentation page for Video objects, we show yet another formulation of the RDFa ? the RDFa we need is embedded directly in the markup itself, rather than in the . The advantage of this approach is that the structured markup can become "portable". If you are a large video site and you choose to include RDFa in your public embed code, your users will include this markup when they paste this markup into their blogs, forums, and homepages. This means that as Yahoo! Search crawls the web, it will become aware of your video objects all over the web and start playing those streams as well, directing more video traffic back to your site.

Finally, you can always provide structured data using a DataRSS XML feed. This method allows you to share structured data privately with Yahoo!, without having to touch your front end code. And of course, we're completely open to supporting additional patterns of markup that represent "a video," particularly if those patterns become popular and widely deployed.

With video, games, and documents, we've tried to deliberately keep these objects small and easy to understand. To define a video object, the minimum you need to provide is a video URL and a preview thumbnail URL. Adding more structured data will help us optimize your presentation, but to simply get any presentation at all requires just two pieces of information. We're hoping that kicking things off with these simple examples will help illustrate the power of providing even small amounts of structured data ... and help encourage web developers to dig deeper into the world of structured data. Meanwhile, we will continue to flesh out our support for vocabularies for other use cases. Let us know what you think!

Yahoo! SearchMonkey Team