The White House Takes a Critical Step In The Effort To Share Essential Resources & Information About COVID-19

On Wednesday, the White House Chief Technology, Information and Digital Officers called for federal websites to incorporate new tags about

Brian Distelburger

By Brian Distelburger

Apr 17, 2020

3 min

On Wednesday, the White House Chief Technology, Information and Digital Officers called for federal websites to incorporate new tags about COVID-19. is a joint effort founded by tech companies such as Google, Microsoft and Yahoo to create standard tags that can be added to any website's code, making webpages containing particular information easier to find in search results. These newest tags contain information about COVID-19 prevention measures, disease spread statistics, quarantine rules and travel guidance as well as information about getting tested. The White House announcement also encouraged state and local governments, as well as the private sector, to use this vital information.

The White House's embrace of these Schema standard tags on a federal level is key to making sure that COVID-19 resources and information surface online across search results. This is incredibly important at a time where fear and anxiety are high and people have more questions than ever about their health, safety and government response to the pandemic.

Here at Yext, answering questions is something we know a lot about. The work we do with is aimed at making sure the data about our clients' brands is structured in a way that search engines can understand and categorise. This makes their web pages easier to find when customers search for information.

We can't overstate how much web page discoverability matters. Today, most people ask questions in search engines or on major digital platforms like Google, Bing, Alexa and Apple Maps. Sometimes the answer is surfaceddirectly in those platforms, in the way that Google often gives a single factual answer to questions that have one. But these AI-powered discovery services can't produce the right answer if the underlying information isn't structured in a way that is intelligible to them. That's why incorporating tags into website code is so necessary to optimise the accuracy and specificity of search results.

We applaud the White House's dedication to surfacing critical information about COVID-19 across all online search experiences. We're committed to helping federal, state and local government agencies to provide answers to their residents, on their websites, and directly in search engine results.

We've been doing this for a long time for Yext's commercial customers. But during this recent crisis, we've dedicated our resources pro bono to structuring COVID-19 webpages for the states of New Jersey and Alabama as well as the U.S. Department of State. We believe that making up-to-date information easily accessible to people can help save lives. This is true all the time, but it feels even more urgent right now.

In these uncertain times, we are in awe of our front-line health care and other essential workers and we appreciate our public servants more than ever. We're proud to do our part to help government agencies and businesses alike deliver great user experiences while providing essential answers.

Yext is volunteering our services to help governments and NGOs keep the public informed.Learn more here.

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