The Automotive Ontology Working Group is an informal group of individuals and corporations who want to advance the use of shared conceptual structures in the form of Web ontologies for better data interoperability in the automotive industry, and this at Web scale. In particular, we want to develop
extension proposals for schema.org so that automotive information can be better understood by search engines and
OWL Web ontologies for the automotive industry.
Also, we want to provide a forum for bringing together researchers and practitioners who are working on advancing the field.
Note: Community Groups are proposed and run by the community. Although W3C hosts these conversations, the groups do not necessarily represent the views of the W3C Membership or staff.
Toyota Motor Europe (TME), led in the area of Semantic SEO by MakoLab SA and Hepp Research GmbH, has implemented elements of schema.org core and auto.schema.org extension vocabularies in their websites across Europe.
The scope of the vocabularies use
In particular, TME’s Models and Specification Pages (e.g. Spec1 , Spec2) and Grades Details Pages (e.g. Grade1, Grade2) contain schema.org markup with types and properties from both core of schema.org and the automotive extension. In some other pages (like the main car pages (e.g. Main1, Main2) there is schema.org markup targeting the display of Google Rich Snippets (price/reviews).
While the use of auto.schema.org seems to be quite modest in its scope, the size of the set of URLs that contain elements of the markup is impressive: our post-implementation assessment shows that objects of type Car are in almost 7000 URLs from the entire TME web landscape – already indexed by Google!
What are the effects of the markup?
So far, the fundamental effect of the markup will be to feed Google’s Knowledge Graph. For example, we can already see that Google is looking for this data as per example of the Knowledge Panel:
It is expected and highly anticipated, that the manufacturer’s websites with Schema.org markup will be very trustworthy source of information for Google, and the data in the Knowledge Panel will be coming from this source.
However, as the life of the markup has just started, we suspect that the data marked up with Schema might be used for example in Tabular Search Results or so called “Direct Answers”:
Today we can see that the data comes from various websites’ content (for example from Wikipedia, manufacturer’s websites and other), but we suspect they might be soon based to a higher extent on the most reliable data which is the structured markup embedded into the pages of the manufacturer website.
It also worth noticing that the use of schema.org in the TME pages brings Google Rich Snippets to life:
Despite using a small part of the schema.org and automotive extension vocabularies in the TME websites the early results are quite promising and show the impact of the schema.org markup on the Customer Search Experience related to the manufacturer.