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Can we trust Web-page metadata?

  • Anders Ardö
Publiceringsår: 2010
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 58-74
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Journal of Library Metadata
Volym: 10
Nummer: 1
Dokumenttyp: Artikel i tidskrift
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-lup-obsolete
  • ISSN: 1938-6389

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