It’s been almost a year and a half since Google first launched a new service called Google Sitemaps. Back in June 2005, when it launched, Google Sitemaps had two goals:
1. Optimize Googlebot’s ability to crawl web sites and provide more timely, relevant search results, and…
2. Allow webmasters to more easily communicate with Google to get their new content crawled faster than ever before.
Since then, Google Sitemaps has undergone a name change (now called Google Webmaster Tools). The name change came about to reflect a growing list of features offered to site owners. Combined with the potential for enhanced visibility, Google Sitemaps/Webmaster Tools has sparked a tremendous amount of positive feedback.
Well, Yahoo and Microsoft finally took notice. For months, Google’s two closest competitors did not officially support Google’s Sitemap Protocol, even though Google encouraged it by making the technology open source.
But it’s a new day:
Google, Yahoo and MSN are now teaming up to support Sitemaps 0.90. Now webmasters have the ability to use one format to generate a mass catalog of their site and keep the major search engines up-to-date about any changes made. Details of the new Sitemap protocol can be seen here: www.sitemaps.org. Don’t worry – if you already participate in the Sitemap program, there’s no need to change your XML file.
And it’s a good day:
As webmasters continue to provide both positive and negative feedback about how to make the Sitemaps protocol more effective, improvements will continue to be made. And as Google and its competitors continue to take this feedback into account to improve and expand upon the products and tools offered, we’re all going to benefit.