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Can we trust Web-page metadata?

  • Anders Ardö (Associate Professor)
Publiceringsår: 2010
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 58-74
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Journal of Library Metadata
Volym: 10
Nummer: 1
Dokumenttyp: Artikel
Förlag: Routledge


A statistical study of embedded metadata in a sample of
more than 4 million HTML Web-pages is reported. The paper tries to
determine and quantify the validity of this metadata. Of particular
interest is to see if it is trustworthy enough for determining the
topic of a Web-page. Datasets are collected by a Web crawler running
both as a general and a focused crawler. Metadata fields 'title',
'author', 'keywords', 'description', and 'language' are analyzed in
detail together with Dublin Core metadata. The study reveals
problems with how metadata is created. Among the 75 \% of all
Web-pages that have interesting metadata, the field 'language' is
the most trustworthy. All other metadata fields show a high degree
of duplication thus degrading their usefulness. The strict answer to
the title question is 'No', however there is a lot of meaningful and
useful information, but it must be interpreted and used with
care. The study also provides statistics on the usage of metadata
today and how it has changed over time.



  • Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering
  • Dublin Core
  • metadata analysis
  • metadata usage
  • metadata validity
  • Web metadata


  • KnowLib
  • ISSN: 1938-6389

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