JSON-LD | Google’s Favourite Technology
Why JSON-LD is Google’s Favourite
Google’s secret strategy is to keep you in Google (not necessarily a bad thing).
To achieve this Google must lift content from websites (under a “better user experience” cover story). Now to lift content from websites requires a good understanding of what that content is – and that’s where JSON-LD steps in.
The Internet on a Plate
As you can imagine, Google has shown more than a cursory interest in the technology that is going to deliver the internet on a plate. It has nursed it from day 1, and has ensured that the JSON-LD offering is broad-spectrum – so that it is adopted to solve problems that are not “structured data” related.
The plan is to soften the adoption barrier of exposing a site’s content – due to large numbers of readily available developers – schooled in the art of JSON-LD.
CSV and XML – JSON is the Best of Both Worlds
JSON-LD comes from JSON – which solves a couple of key problems (while keeping the good) exposed by CSV and XML.
CSV (Comma Separated Values) is a good way of describing an object.
[“Apollo Akora”, “www-build-business-websites.co.uk”, “Feb 5th”]
The above is simple to read. That’s the key advantage of CSV. But is Feb 5th when he was born, or when he died, who knows. But the biggest problem CSV has is accommodating child values.
[“Apollo Akora”, “www-build-business-websites.co.uk”,“fishing”, “taeknondo”, “cooking”, “Feb 5th”]
[“Jim Appleby”, “www-build-business-websites.co.uk”,“rowing”, “Mar 23rd”]
CSV finds it hard to handle child values. Some put say 5 empty commas if no hobbies – but you are restricting the number of hobbies to 5.
XML is good at describing data. It solves the problem of child values. The problem with XML is that parsing it is a science all by itself, and the complexity of reading it puts off many.
JSON solves the above problems. It keeps the simplicity of CSV, and adds in some data description to a CSV like structure. For those who need multiplicity, it provides a simple way of achieving it. Parsing JSON is simple, reading it is simple, and it can handle the common object definition issues.
JSON-LD goes further by defining its own data types. CSV has no data types – and XML out of the box does not either. JSON-LD bounces out with common data-types such as integers, dates, languages, countries, currencies and so on.
In fact JSON-LD is a lot of things. JSON-LD is a markup language, a data description language, an interrogation tool for Restful Web Services, and that’s just the beginning.