rel-product brainstorming

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rel-product was both the wrong answer to its use-case (identifying products), and is now obsolete.

Instead, use the microformats2 root class name h-product on elements denoting (or hyperlinking to) specific products. E.g.

I really like the new 
<a class="h-product" href="">iPod Touch</a>.

For more properties, see hProduct and use the respective microformats2 product names.


use case

Make it easier to discover product websites by just searching for products by name which search engines could identify by indexing semantically marked up products.

For instance to discover the iPod website, you could go to a microformat aware search engine and search for iPod (though it turns out iPod is a unique enough term that even normal text search will likely find the right site for it). If some site has linked to for example with a hyperlink marked up with product semantics, a search engine could prioritize that result.

Old Proposals

Old proposals kept here purely for historical purposes. These are long obsolete. We might want to just delete them since they're useless and they predate the required public domain contributions date 2007-12-29. Tantek 21:06, 16 October 2012 (UTC)

For current work, see:

Obsolete proposal follows:

Draft Proposal for rel-product 2006-06-10


Rafael Gaspar

Rafael, please read the microformats process and please join the microformats-discuss list so we can help walk you through the steps in the process in order to best develop your idea for a microformat. E.g. there may better names, as what you are focusing on for this is the OFFICIALness rather than the PRODUCTness of the destination of the link. In addition, what you are describing is not really a relationship FROM the source TO the destination (please read rel-faq), what you are describing is more something "about" the destination, which is perhaps better done by tagging the destination link as "OFFICIAL" either via xFolk or hReview. - Tantek


This specification is (C) 2004-2022 by the authors. However, the authors intend to submit (or already have submitted, see details in the spec) this specification to a standards body with a liberal copyright/licensing policy such as the GMPG, IETF, and/or W3C. Anyone wishing to contribute should read their copyright principles, policies and licenses (e.g. the GMPG Principles) and agree to them, including licensing of all contributions under all required licenses (e.g. CC-by 1.0 and later), before contributing.


This specification is subject to a royalty free patent policy, e.g. per the W3C Patent Policy, and IETF RFC3667 & RFC3668.


rel-product is a proposal for a microformat. By adding rel="product" to an hyperlink indicates that the destination of that hyperlink is the Product Website.

e.g. by placing this link on a page,

<a href="" rel="product">iPod</a>

the author indicates that the link points to Product Website.

The linked page SHOULD be the Website, And the text of the hyperlink SHOULD be the product name.


rel="product" is specifically designed for referencing the OFFICIAL website of the product; content, typically hosted on its own company website.

rel="product" is NOT designed for referencing arbitrary URLs or Shopping Websites with this product.

XMDP profile

<dl class="profile">
 <dt id="rel">rel</dt>
   <a rel="help" href="">
     HTML4 definition of the 'rel' attribute.</a>  
   Here is an additional value.</p>
   <dt id="product">product</dt>
   <dd>Indicates that the referred resource is the OFFICIAL website of the product specified into the hyperlink text.</dd>

Encoding issues

Spaces can be encoded either as + or %20. Unicode characters are encoded as specified in RFC 3986.


This section is informative.

By now there is no rel-product implementation.

My idea is a search engine like Technorati Contact Search


Normative References

Discussion and Issues

rel-product brainstorming was last modified: Tuesday, October 16th, 2012