The popularity of metadata sometimes comes in waves. There was a time when metadata for websites was not given any attention. After a year or two, this trend reversed itself and metadata became popular again.
Simply put, metadata is “data about data”, or for laymen webmasters and website admins, it is a short piece of information about a web page. Writing metadata for books online has become a difficult task due to search engine rules about web pages, their contents, and the metadata included in them.
Metadata is not the data itself, but what the data contains. This is hard to grasp for some people. It is like an iterative description spiraling inwards into itself. However, it is important to remember that the description of the data implies that the description is unique within the website. There should be no duplication of pages and metadata within the website.
The uniqueness is important because metadata is used to locate the resources in an online library or archive. The Open Language Archive Community (OLAC) has set standards for writing metadata for books. This is a big help for linguists who create metadata and distribute it to help others in finding the necessary resources for a research.
Types of Metadata
In the digital publication, there are different types of metadata. These are administrative metadata, descriptive metadata, and structural metadata. Administrative metadata is further divided between rights metadata, technical metadata, and preservation metadata. The above types of metadata correspond with the type of research materials available and their purpose in search and cataloging.
Metadata may be an obscure part of the web page. To make the most of this resource, it should be done by a human or the author of the web page or blog. As such, the author can be sure that the proper keywords are used, and the page is properly described. However, not all web pages can be done in this manner, especially if the website is part of an online shopping network.