Help Search Engines get Smarter, ROR your Website!

Posted on March 3, 2005

You may have noticed some changes to the AddMe website this week. Coninciding with the Search Engine Strategies Conference in New York, we introduced a new service called ROR.

ROR (Resources of a Resource) is an exciting new website content description tool and format. It makes it very easy to describe the content, objects, and structure of your website so search engines and other web applications can better find and understand your information.

For example if you are selling products, ROR enables you to document your product names, descriptions, prices, images, availability, affiliate programs, etc. Or if your site or blog provides information on a given topic, it allows you to describe how this information is organized (sitemap, topics, categories, new information, archive, blogroll, etc). ROR also provides terms for documenting objects such as contacts, articles, newsletter, feeds, images, audio, links, reviews, privacy policy, copyrights, and more.

ROR information can be easily added to your website by adding a ROR File called ror.xml. To create the file we provide templates and examples. We also provide a ROR File Editor, which will extract information from your website and allow you to describe it further. Larger websites can also generate ROR files from their databases.

But why is it important to describe your website? Well, consider this phrase: "We offer a 10% discount on all our products until Mother's Day". While these words mean a lot to your visitors, they unfortunately don't mean much to a search engine or shopping search engine. Language is extremely complex and it will take time even for Google to elevate search to such levels of sophistication. And that's just one language, English.

So for now, to communicate your product information to shopping search engines you typically need to provide a feed (a machine-readable description of your products), and re-submit that feed to each engine each time the information changes. And to make matters worse, none of these feeds have the same format, so you also have to learn each format.

ROR suggests a better approach. Since search engines already come to your site to read text information about your products, it makes sense to also read additional information like prices, image URLs, discounts, etc. This way, you only change the information once, in your ROR file, and that's it. Product information is just one example but it illustrates this issue rather well.

ROR information can also be displayed on your website in a generic fashion so visitors can quickly and easily find information, without the need to re-learn or remember the structure and navigation of each website they visit. For that purpose, ROR provides an Info Button. The button reads the information directly from your ROR file.

ROR simply makes a lot of sense! It's powerful, easy, and very flexible. Not surprisingly, many of the search engines we contacted so far have already shown interest in reading ROR files.

Get your ROR file or button at www.addme.com/ror-sitemap-generator.htm, it only takes a few minutes for a basic file. You can always add more information later.

"Help search engines get smarter, ROR your website!".

Help spread the word by adding this article on your site, or a link to it:

Happy RORing,

The Add Me Team
http://www.addme.com


 

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