The W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) is a committee that is dedicated to implement uniform technologies in the use and development of the Internet. The body was founded at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA in 1994.
The aim of the W3C is to make technical specifications uniform and to establish guidelines for the development of web technologies, so that the basic idea of the World Wide Web is maintained. Technologies such as HTML, XML, CSS, other markup languages, and web services are used daily by millions of users.
The W3C is a member organization. Both economic enterprises, political institutions, as well as universities and research centers can be found on the member list. The main supporters of the project are the U.S. Defense Research Agency (DARPA), the European Commission, the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics (ERCIM), and Keio University in Japan. These hosts are supplemented by offices all over the world, which support the work of the W3C organizationally. There are so far more than 400 members of the W3C, who also make its work possible through certain, fixed contributions. Google, Facebook or Apple participate in the W3C as well.
The initiator and founder of the W3C is Tim Berners Lee, the pioneer and founder of the Internet. He wanted to prevent the Internet from dividing into areas that served only commercial or academic interests. The web as such, emphasized Lee, is there for everyone and should not only be used by everyone, but also edited. The aim is to create an open system with open, standardized technologies.
TH W3C is based on a strict Open Source philosophy. One of the greatest contributions of Lee, is generally considered to be that he has managed to write the basic protocols of the Internet, including Server Clients architectures, HTTP, HTML or Webbrowsers as a transparent, democratic process. Tim Berners Lee also edited the first Website, which is still available as a copy. Today Lee is chairman of the W3C, professor at MIT and holds a chair at the University of Southampton.
The W3C provides recommendations. Such recommendations include technological standards that can, for example, define a Markup Language. These recommendations were established by international workforces communicating over the WWW for a long period of time. This was done through mailing lists, websites, comments, additions, and suggestions, which are then edited before they can be published.
A specific standard may be being worked on for several years. Especially since the W3C has become larger. In the beginning, a standard could be developed within a few months since there were fewer members. However, these recommendations are not ISO standards. W3C protocols only have the status of proposals to be discussed. As a democratic expert group, however, the W3C enjoys a very good reputation, which is why almost all protocols are de facto standards.
Among other things, SVG (scalable vector graphics) is considered the standard for two-dimensional vector graphics.
The recommendations of the W3C also have a relatively high status with web designers and SEOs. This includes having clean Source Code, which can be checked with the Validator of the W3C. This tool scrutinizes the syntax. Both HTML, CSS and markup languages such as SMIL or MathML can be checked for their validity. If the source code is valid, this is also a signal to search engines that this is a reasonably programmed website. However, errors can even be found on the Google or Microsoft home pages’ source code, so certain mistakes certainly do not affect the ranking of a website.
The recommendations are also based on the Semantic Web, because the W3C is already developing the technological foundations for the Web 3.0. Examples that are already in use are markups with linked data and RDF. Being up-to-date on this front can be useful for Search Engine Optimization.