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Richard Lawrence

Head of Key SEO Clients

In September's post, I wrote an introduction to Microformats and how you can make use of them. At the end of the post I mentioned – a standardised set of a Microformats being developed for widespread use across the net, including universal support amongst search engines.

Since my last post, a few updates have been posted on, the first since July. Firstly, there was an announcement regarding the extended support of ‘rNews’, a Microformat created by the International Press Telecommunications Council (ITPC). This is a UK-based consortium of major press/news publishers, and its successful lobbying for rNews support establishes it as big influencer in the development of The rNews Microformat allows you to specify the article’s print origins (which page and issue of a newpaper the article first appeared, for example) – a very useful link between online and offline media. Secondly, and more importantly, there is an update detailing a recent ‘workshop’ (perhaps more accurately described as a ‘summit’) involving all the major search engine players and some major content publishers. According to, there was ‘wide agreement’ over a number of points, mainly regarding how best to continue to evolve the documentation. These points included continuing open communication between the major search engines plus supporting a variety of Microformat syntaxes until the most efficient, simple contender emerges. New versions of current Microformats were introduced at the summit, including the ‘rNews’ changes mentioned in the first update (view all the slide decks from the summit here). Although these updates on the blog are hugely encouraging, they also show that a standardised set of Microformats, supported by all search engines, could be a long way off. The latter update on the blog closes by saying there are ‘no concrete plans’ for another, as of yet. This shows how difficult it must be to get everyone under the same roof. Let’s hope this doesn’t stand in the way of the semantic web revolution that we are all waiting for. What are your thoughts? -@richlawre