Google, Bing and Yahoo are working together to enable websites to tag content in a way that lets search engines better categorize and prioritize the information in results.
The Internet rivals launched a schema.org initiative to promote a common format to "markup" Web pages with data detailing for search engines exactly what sites contain.
A variety of options are available to website makers when it comes to marking up pages, and the search engines believe a common standard will mean less work for publishers and more accuracy in ranking results.
"We want to continue making the open Web richer and more useful," Google fellow Ramanathan Guha said in a blog post.
"We know that it takes time and effort for webmasters to add this markup to their pages, and adding markup is much harder if every search engine asks for data in a different way."
The schema.org website was intended as a "one-stop shop" for website makers when it comes to creating the data tags to describe content to search engines.
"We want to enable publishers to give us hints about what things they are describing on their sites," Bing partner program manager Steve Macbeth said in an online post.
"We at Bing see this as a major step forward for the Web, simplification for webmasters and richer more informative search results for consumers."
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