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Barbara Starr
Semantic Web, Semantic Search & Semantic e-commerce Evangelist
Semantic Web, Semantic Search & Semantic e-commerce Evangelist

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Google pilots host-specific AMP restaurant lists

Two changes were made to today to the Local Businesses data type page in the structured data section of Google search documentation:

First, a section that describes how publishers can mark up content to generate a host-specific carousel of restaurants in the search results. At this time, Google says, they are "piloting this feature with a small set of initial providers", but hope to "open up the feature to more providers soon." There is a link to a form where publishers can register their interest, where the feature is described as "Google Local Restaurant Rich Cards".

Second, in support of these host-specific lists three required properties (all of which are currently in the core vocabulary):
- name (expected type is
- image (expected type is URL or ImageObject)
- servesCuisine (expected type is Text)

I've not yet seen any of these in the wild - please add a comment if have a query that returns one of these!

#schemaorg #restaurants #richcards #amp #hostspecificlists


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e-commerce Training Workshops to be held in CA

Are you interested in making your products findable to your consumers?

If so, this course is a must attend.

It will illustrate how you can:

- Grow your business
- Reduce your costs
- Deliver a better search experience to your customers/clients
- Improve and enrich your product information across all channels
- Optimize inventory visibility and fulfillment
- Provide smarter analytics to improve relevant user engagement and insights
- Sell safer products and gain consumer trust
- Make your ads richer and easier for users to find

All by leveraging and understanding GS1 standards (and how they are used/exploited online).

For those of you who have not previously heard of the organization, here are some interesting facts:

GS1 is the organization behind the GTIN or Global Trade Item Number (better known in the U.S. as a UPC), and responsible for creating, encoding and issuing/licensing the number behind the barcode.

- GS1 has 110+ Member Organizations around the world, which support deployments in 150 countries

- More than 2 million companies globally utilize GS1 standards

- More than 5 billion GS1 barcodes are scanned globally per day ( That is/was more than the total number of Google searches per day up to 2015 and 2016. (As per the numbers in this article , the number of current Google searches per day may now have reached that).

- GS1 US, facilitates over 300,000 businesses in the US with the adoption and use of GS1 standards, and is the pioneer of the Universal Product Code (U.P.C.) and the Electronic Product Code (EPC®).

- In light of the latter, Macy’s just announced that all of their products will be RFID enabled in 2017:

- The GS1 Web vocabulary ( is the first formally accepted External Extension! The second release is imminent. This has been a core component of GS1's SmartSearch initiative, which has involved GS1 working closely with the community (at W3C and Github), creating a Web-based structured data vocabulary that extends to support richer product data descriptions.

GS1 Identifiers (GTINs / UPCs, are the connective tissue that helps align physical products with the digital data about them. This is a component of the reason that many of the major online search, social and shopping destinations leverage/exploit this information/data. It’s also why companies such as Amazon: ( , eBay: , Google:, Rakuten: and others of their ilk have all implemented some rather stringent form of GTIN requirements. However, they also clearly state the benefits to the seller of doing so, while simultaneously stipulating the conditions of the mandate.

An article, just recently published in Internet Retailer by +Rich Richardson, illustrates just how pertinent these numbers are today, and ESPECIALLY so in todays world of online commerce:

To gain a better understanding of how to leverage all of this information, and of the processes and rules that lie behind the backbone of the web of commerce today, make sure to sign up for one of the following workshops:

- San Diego Workshop, Nov 15, Downtown Hilton, San Diego:
- San Jose Workshop, Nov 16, Hilton San Jose,

Make sure to stay apprised on upcoming information regarding these events, and for the informational material accompanying and encompassing them. We will also be including additional associated networking events via meetup. More information to follow and may be found here:

Additional informative and helpful information on the topic has been posted by +Bill Slawski – at these web addresses: &

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GS1 Web Vocabulary Schema Workshops In California

The very first External Extension to Schema was Created by GS1, and they are having workshops in San Diego and San Jose on how to use it.

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GS1 Web Vocabulary Schema Workshops In California

The very first External Extension to Schema was Created by GS1, and they are having workshops in San Diego and San Jose on how to use it.

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if you want to be findable in the search results of the future, search engines need to be able to understand what entities are on your web page.

#jsonld #semanticmarkup  #semanticweb

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Nice to see, but users should be aware that there are some errors and limitations in the tool as currently implemented.

Very sage and - as always - on the ball advice here by +Aaron Bradley .

As Aaron stated, it is great to see such tools available, but ensure to heed the specifics mentioned here should you choose to utilize this tool.
A new JSON-LD tool: caveat emptor

As reported by +Barry Schwartz, +Joe Hall has released a JSON-LD generator for some types.

Nice to see, but users should be aware that there are some errors and limitations in the tool as currently implemented.

Type casing

In a couple of cases the type is declared using a lowercase value. As types and properties are case-sensitive, this is incorrect: exists, does not.

The SDTT is forgiving about this, but it is an error (as you'll see if you run the code through the Linter - Classes I've identified with this error:

- person
- product

@context is declared as This causes an unnecessary 301 to, and may break the code for some processors (JSON-LD Playground, for example, returns an error).

LocalBusiness requires a sub-type

Where, of course, you can simply use LocalBusiness if there's no appropriate sub-type.

LocalBusiness uses "extra URL"

There's the utility to produce an "extra URL" for a LocalBusiness type. Adding such a URL produces an array of sameAs declarations (also available in organization).

url and sameAs are different animals, however. A webmaster might end up using this correctly, or might not.

<script type='application/ld+json'>
"name": "My Shelter",
"url": "",
"sameAs": [

Product image

The input instructions say "Image (relative or absolute url)". You positively can't use a relative URL here. There may be situations where this is possible in JSON-LD, depending on the processor and the precise code being deployed (though IMO you should always - as recently discussed here - use an absolute URL), but certainly not here because there's no URL declared that this is relative to.

Product ratings

Rating assumes that you'll use a 5-point scale, but doesn't state this, so you'll have to normalize this yourself.

Also, while "rating" this assumes - as per the "Based on now many reviews" input, that this is based on reviews and not ratings. If it is soley ratings, than "ratingCount" should be used rather than the provided "reviewCount".

Product MIA: offers

Not an error, but kind of bizarre that this doesn't provide the ability to provide offer information (although event does).


Given all of this I would certainly recommend that the order of the #4 and #5 be reversed (not just here, but anytime one is producing JSON-LD, as it can readily be tested as an independent code snippet, and in any case because the rest of the page code is irrelevant to validating a JSON-LD script block):

4. Paste JSON-LD in the <head> section of your HTML document.
5. Test implementation with the structured data testing tool.

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If you’d like to hear what Google thinks is big in machine learning, watch the #GoogleIO2016 panel with Director of Product Management +Aparna Chennapragada, Senior Fellow +Jeff Dean, and Senior Vice President of Engineering John Giannandrea.  

#io16 #GoogleIO

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Some interesting nuggets from the the largest study yet of the tech that tracks folks on the web:

- Google Analytics was found on almost 70 percent of sites.
- The top five most common tracking tools were all Google-owned.
- a technique used by some tracking companies that exploits the way browsers process audio, using it to “fingerprint” computers to facilitate tracking
- ....

All to better target ads .....

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