There is some great news in the SEO world that will change the way webmaster process and submit Sitemaps to Google, Yahoo! and soon others.
Last night, November 15, 2006 at 9:00 pm, Google and Yahoo! announced that they have united to support a unified system of submitting Web pages to their crawlers. While Google launched their Google Sitemaps protocol in June 2005 and Yahoo! recently with their Yahoo! Site Explorer, they both offered different protocols for submitting Sitemap files in the past. But because of this new supported Sitemap Protocol 0.9 Standard, this move marks the day when the 'big two' have agreed that they will all now support the Google XML protocol method via the new sitemaps.org destination.
Not only are Google and Yahoo! collaborating on this project, they've also issued an open invitation to all the other search engines willing to join. Microsoft accepted that invitation and will jointly support sitemaps.org and its efforts.
Sitemap Protocol 0.9 is offered under the terms of the Attribution-ShareAlike Creative Commons License and has wide adoption, including support from Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft.
Google Stated, "Last year we published the Sitemap 0.84 XML protocol as a free and easy way for webmasters to inform search engines about URLs on their web sites so that search engines can more effectively crawl them. We released it under the Attribution/Share Alike Creative Commons license in the hopes that other search engines would adopt the protocol too. And today, we're excited to announce that Yahoo! and Microsoft are joining us in officially supporting the Sitemap protocol."
What does this mean for webmasters?
Well first, this means that webmasters must work to adapt and implement this new Sitemaps Protocol 0.9 Standard. They must follow and abide by the unified protocol, as defined at sitemaps.org and learn to accept this new standard of processing and submitting Sitemaps to Google and Yahoo! and soon MSN.
Because of this supported effort and open initiation, this means that other search engines, especially MSN, will most likely develop some type of Sitemap submission service that abides by the Sitemaps Protocol 0.9 Standard.
This is great news for the search industry and means that all search engines will be able to support and accept the same Sitemap Protocol, making it easier for webmasters to abide by one standard to manage their sitemap submissions in the future.
For more information and to watch an interview with Google and Yahoo! on the announcement, click to watch the Exclusive Video: Google and Yahoo! Launch Sitemaps.org .