Improving information retrieval is one of the central goals of annotation. However, without clear guidelines, annotation risks producing incoherent information. The author recommends answering eight key questions before annotation begins: (1) What aspect of the content must be represented? (2) What are the subject and form of the knowledge to represent? (3) Are annotations only descriptions? (4) Must we reify some classes in descriptions? (5) Is some background knowledge necessary? (6) Is the background knowledge part of the ontology? (7) Can the background knowledge and ontology evolve? (8) Is the Semantic Web common knowledge or distributed knowledge?.