Today, “in the spirit of sitemaps.org“, Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo have announced the joint alliance of schema.org. This alliance provides a common foundation of support for a set of microdata types — some that previously existed and some that have been created as part of this initiative.
Fox Also Points Out the Following Important Info About Microformats and RDFa:
While Google and Yahoo both have supported their use with their rich snippets and SearchMonkey programs, respectively, neither format is supported as part of schema.org. However, the engines say that the existing support for these formats will continue (even though they imply they’d like you to switch.
From the FAQ:
“If you have already done markup and it is already being used by Google, Microsoft, or Yahoo!, the markup format will continue to be supported. Changing to the new markup format could be helpful over time because you will be switching to a standard that is accepted across all three companies, but you don’t have to do it.”
Schema.org Will Use Microdata
Microdata is the most recent well-known standard, created along with HTML5. It strikes a balance between extensibility and simplicity, and is most suitable for building the schema.org. Google and Yahoo! have in the past supported both microformats and RDFa for certain schemas and will continue to support these syntaxes for those schemas. We will also be monitoring the web for RDFa and microformats adoption and if they pick up, we will look into supporting these syntaxes. Also read the section on the data model for more on RDFa.
Direct to Full Text Article:
“Schema.org: Google, Bing & Yahoo Unite To Make Search Listings Richer Through Structured Data” by Vanessa Fox
(via Search Engine Land) The article includes direct links to news releases for each of the three companies.
See Also: “Google, Microsoft, Yahoo Standardize Common Web Tags” (via PC World)