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Aaron Bradley
Works at Electronic Arts
Attended University of Alberta
Lives in Vancouver
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  • University of Alberta
Basic Information
Other names
Search and internet marketer, semantic web stringer
I'm an Internet marketing guy with a strong specialization in organic search engine optimization (SEO) for enterprise-level websites.  I also work a lot on conversion optimization, web testing and other aspects of ecommerce.

I've long had an interest in classification that has extended in the computer age to meta data and the semantic web - but I definitely wouldn't consider myself a geek (I don't have good enough math skills for that).

For my sins, I also increasingly find myself working on information architecture, user experience and website analytics.

As if that's not enough, I'm an avid observer (and sometimes participant) of the discussion surrounding digital journalism, and the struggles of traditional news media organizations as they try to adopt to 21st century realities.  (I'm also very keen on news optimization/SEO for Google News.)

I write on various topics related to Internet marketing on my own blog, as a now-occasional columnist at Search Engine Land and other places around the web.  I'm also a prolific tweeter.

Interested in search and the semantic web?  This Google+ Community (which I run) is definitely the place for you:

If you're on Twitter, I also recommend following this list (which I curate):

  • Semantic Web
    600+ semantic web people and organizations on Twitter
You can also find me posting on these Google+ Pages:
Internet Marketer
  • Electronic Arts
    SEO and DPO Analyst, 2014 - present
    Heading up search engine and digital presence optimization efforts for more than a dozen EA domains, including and
  • Airshock
    Digital Marketing Consultant, 2013 - 2014
    Independent digital marketing consultant specializing in improving the visibility and performance of websites in the search engines through the application of semantic web technologies.
    Internet Marketing Manager, 2011 - 2013
  • Airshock
    SEO Consultant, 2010 - 2012
    Director of SEO, 2009 - 2010
    SEO Manager, 2008 - 2009
    Search Engine Marketing Manager, 2008 - 2008
  • Media
    Senior SEO, 2006 - 2008
  • Media
    SEO Specialist, 2005 - 2006
    Senior Web Designer, 2003 - 2005
  • Self-Employed
    Independent Web Designer, 2000 - 2002
  • Canadian Forces College
    Web Designer/Administrator, 1995 - 1999
  • Canadian Forces College
    Library Technician, 1988 - 1995
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Montreal, Quebec - Toronto, Ontario - Banff, Alberta - Edmonton, Alberta


Aaron Bradley

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The end has come, as announced by Google's Jason Douglas.

So long and thanks for all the data!

#freebase   #metaweb   #wikidata   #knowledgegraph   #rip  
Jarno van Driel's profile photoCoach G Moore's profile photoDenver Prophit Jr.'s profile photo
At least I was able to define our company before it shut down and get it into the knowledge graph =)
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Aaron Bradley

commented on a post on Blogger.
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Thanks for this interesting and insightful article.  I've seen hardly any discussion about Google Posts, so its nice to encounter this very coherent analysis of the semantic dimensions of this initiative.

However, I do take issue with your claim that "Google Authorship was also built on the foundation of"

The authorship program, of course, was predicated on the use of a rel="author" declaration (later a ?rel=author declaration appended to an href declaration)  This is not (the relevant property for a CreativeWork there is "author"), nor does it bear any relationship to it.

rel="author" as implemented by Google is essentially a flavor of plain old semantic HTML (POSH), where usage is determined by the conventions imposed by the data consumer (such as, in this case, appending a the ?rel="author" parameter to a linked Google+ profile URL), rather than machine readable standards., by contrast, is true linked data.  While data consumers like Google can and do impose their own requirements on how is used, the classes and properties of the vocabulary are defined, along with the expected types for each.

And launched in June 2011, was in its infancy when authorship in August of that year.

Somewhat ironically, if the vocabulary had been more mature at the time Google began thinking of the implementing authorship (which surely must have been in the works some time prior to the introduction of the vocabulary) they might well have opted to avail themselves of, since it would have made information declared about the authorship of articles (or any creative work) reliably available to all data consumers.  In the current technical environment nothing would be more straightforward then declaring, using JSON-LD, a Google+ profile URL using the sameAs property applied to Person nested under author.

In summary it would have been great if Google Authorship was built on the foundation of ... but it was not.
Google Posts may be key to the future of Google Authorship and Semantic Search.
Aaron Bradley's profile photoEli Fennell's profile photo
Thanks for catching the mistake.
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Aaron Bradley

Structuring & modeling  - 
Thought this was an interesting approach to technical documentation, one which takes the concept of structured writing one step further to represent technical documentation as an interconnected graph.

Instead of forcing readers to follow a single, linear, flat sequence of sections, just offer different routes between articles or items. Just like there are different ski slopes for beginners and pros, you could even mark the connections with different colors, from blue over red to black.

By offering more than one outgoing connection from one doc item to the next, you allow users to find their individual path through the documentation, following their natural intuition, saving energy for creative tasks.
None of your users learn about your software in a linear path. Discover why you should transform your technical documentation into a graph instead.
Michael Andrews's profile photoAaron Bradley's profile photoDestry Wion's profile photo
Looking at the activity on this post, I'm guessing only members can comment, but any ol' anonymous passerby can +1 or reshare. Malvin Alvin indeed.
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Aaron Bradley

Structured data markup  - 
RDFa, Microdata, JSON-LD, and Microformats data sets for Nov. 2015 Common Crawl release now available

As announced by +Robert Meusel (, the Web Data Commons has just released a new RDFa, Microdata, embedded JSON-LD and Microformat data corpus, extracted from the  November 2015 version of the Common Crawl (1.8B pages, 14.4M websites):

This is the first Commons corpus to report on embedded JSON-LD discovered in the crawl, so I took a quick look what classes and properties were being most commonly declared.

As per the call-out graphic, there's a pretty direct relationship between what webmasters have been encoding and JSON-LD supported search results features in Google.

Clearly many sites - in the order of a half-million+ - have opted to provide Google with information about their internal search in order to generate an in-SERP sitelinks search box, first announced by Google in September of 2015 (

Markup in support of social media profile links, announced in January 2015 (, is also much in evidence, and probably accounts for good chunk of the sameAs declarations observed.

Finally, JSON-LD support for logos and corporate contact information, both announced in 2014, is probably responsible for some other top JSON-LD-encoded classes and properties in the extraction, including Organization and sub-classes, ContactPoint and logo.

Interesting to compare this list against the equivalent top lists for microdata, which is quite different and skews much more heavily toward types with long-standing rich snippet support, such as CreativeWork classes, Product and Offer.  It will be interesting to see how this distribution over time, with JSON-LD support for these types all having been introduced since this Crawl.

Finally - because we need mystery, right? - how it it that has more triples (570B) than all of (538B)? :)

#commoncrawl   #webdatacommons   #jsonld   #schemaorg   #structureddata  
Hill Web Creations LLC's profile photoRobert Meusel's profile photoMichael Andrews's profile photoAaron Bradley's profile photo
+Michael Andrews Uncovering trends - both in the use of different structured data types in general, and the employment of different classes and properties - are indeed the primary uses to which I've seen these data applied (e.g.

Past that the Web Data Commons extractions can, depending on the analytical use case, be a little troublesome to work with, as the Common Crawl corpus is neither comprehensive nor consistent (i.e. AFAIK the domains surveyed are not necessarily the same, crawl over crawl).  See this paper (PDF) by +Martin Hepp and +Alex Stolz -

But for uncovering those trends WDC is an excellent resource.
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Aaron Bradley

General repartee  - 
EXTRA: read all about it

And in news pertaining to the "semantically categorized" aspect of intelligent content, the International Press Telecommunications Council (IPTC) has just received a grant from the Google Digital News Initiative Innovation Fund to develop EXTRA, "a multilingual open-source platform for rules-based classification of news content."

The goal here is help "publishers to enhance their content with all sorts of metadata services, including enriched search, intelligent recommendations and precise analytics."

An interesting initiative, and one well-suited to be carried out by the IPTC, which has taken a lead role in standards and metadata development in the news industry.
The International Press Telecommunications Council (IPTC) will use a grant from the first round of Google’s Digital News Initiative Innovation Fund to build and freely distribute an initial version of EXTRA: The EXTraction Rules Apparatus, a multilingual open-source platform for rules-based classification of news content. EXTRA will be a classification system for annotating news documents …
Marcia Riefer Johnston's profile photo
Thanks, +Aaron Bradley. What a smart initiative. Glad to know about it.
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Aaron Bradley

Discussion  - 
"A significant idea that should be a strong consideration in content development strategies"

Really interesting analysis of Google's patent application "Evaluating Semantic Interpretations of a Search Query" ( by +Dave Davies.

Of particular note are Davies' observations about the impact of click-through rate.  He rightfully turns the tired trope about whether or not CTR influences rankings on its head and instead turns attention to how CTR can be used by Google to inform their interpretation of a query.
For example, if Google presented results for "hamilton new york history" that were about the village of Hamilton, New York, but then observed that a plurality of clicks were going to pages about Alexander Hamilton in connection with New York City, Google could judge - based on CTR - that its interpretation of the query was problematic, rather than that one or more of those results about the village of Hamilton needed to be re-ranked.

As Davies observes:

"This takes the question of clickthrough rate well beyond whether it impacts an individual site’s rankings and into the realm of the entire result set being valid or not and, if not, a completely different interpretation chosen.  This means that if you notice a site going up or down in the rankings it may have little or nothing to do with the individual clichtrough rate or even relevancy to a subject but rather a completely different interpretation of the same query.  This is huge."

#semanticsearch   #semanticseo  
An analysis of the Google patent, "Evaluating Semantic Interpretations Of A Search Query" and what you need to do about it.
Markus Rödl's profile photo
Dear Aaron, thanks for sharing this post with us/me. I see exactly why you did it and I totally agree on your reason for doing it.

It's about raising the discussion of the CTR to the next level and starting to think in a more abstract and thus beautiful way.
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Aaron Bradley

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Turns out the article is about "smart" cosmetics that can talk to a smartphone, but I thought the headline was funny.  It's like saying "Are driveable cars Ford's future?"
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Copywriting fail
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Aaron Bradley

Discussion  - 
"On the Web, semantic search profoundly changes the landscape of SERPs"

Great overview of the topic of semantic search from +Teodora Petkova.  A great read, especially, for search marketers just dipping their toes into semantic waters.

How semantic search takes information retrieval to the next level, empowering knowledge discovery.
Aaron Bradley's profile photoHill Web Creations LLC's profile photoTeodora Petkova's profile photo
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Aaron Bradley

Discussion  - 
GS1 introduces DWCode - an invisible, scannable, URL-linked barcode

GS1, the organization that maintains the global standards for barcodes, has introduced a new generation of package-based product code, the DWCode.

Produced in partnership with digital watermarking company Digimarc, the new code has these attributes and capabilities:

Invisible to ordinary consumers, it can printed across all surfaces of a product package.

Significantly faster to scan at checkouts than barcodes.

Uses GTIN (Global Trade Item Number) to reliably link to product information for that item.

Is scannable by mobile devices.

Provides rich product information to consumers who have scanned the package.

Resolves to a dynamic URL that can be used to provide consumers with product information, coupons, promotions and more.


Main site

Brochure [PDF]


Pretty interesting initiative that leverages the power of linked data to enhance information about real-life things.

And it's a value proposition in its own right for the power of the GTIN.  So for context this just-published article by +Matt Lawson of Google is an excellent companion piece:

Five reasons why GTIN should be your new favorite Google Shopping acronym

Many thanks to +Rich Richardson for the heads-up on this!

#barcodes   #gtin   #linkeddata   #gs1
Michael Andrews's profile photo
This could be really big.  Rather than simply thinking about search rank visibility, marketers will think about virtual shelf rank visibility, as consumers do show rooming or cross compare the attributes of products in a category.  
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Aaron Bradley

Discussion  - 
Computer-implemented methods for proposing actions to a user"

An interesting look by +Bill Slawski at a recently-granted Google patent, "Semantic selection and purpose facilitation".

The patent describes methods by which a user can readily identify an entity, and then take an action related to that entity.  For example - as per the image in the call-out link - a user might identify the restaurant "Ramem Sushi", and then be able to make a reservation at that restaurant.

Bill notes that this "seems to be a fairly aspirational patent, which might require a lot of steps being put into place before it is implemented", but that - given the potential of what such a mechanism could support - it may well be something that the search giant pursues.

#semanticsearch   #entities   #google  
Imagine being able to select an entity from a web page, and choose an action to perform upon it, such as making a reservation or reading a review.
Bill Slawski's profile photoWolfgang Anton Jagsch's profile photo
great news - thanks very much
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Aaron Bradley

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"Image via Getty"

Just one of those Google News mysteries (especially as the cited text doesn't appear in the code).
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Aaron Bradley

Freebase, Wikipedia, Wikidata  - 
Wikidata is the new Freebase express lane to the Google Knowledge Graph

Good case study from +Tony Edward on how he was able to manipulate the Knowledge Graph by modifying an entity's Wikidata statement.  And what's interesting here is that he employed only Wikidata, AFAIK leaving the entity's Wikipedia page as-is.

Tony, if you're reading this, can you tell us how long it took before your change was reflected in the Knowledge Panel?

#wikidata   #knowledgegraph   #google  
So your company finally has a Knowledge Graph panel appearing on branded searches, but the information is incomplete or incorrect -- what can you do? Tony Edward explains a few ways to edit this information and shows how one method worked for him.
Aaron Bradley's profile photoDenver Prophit Jr.'s profile photoJarno van Driel's profile photo
Very interesting - Check your mail +Aaron Bradley.   =)

And after doing some searching I think it's this wikidata item that has been edited for the 'case study': 
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