In case you haven’t heard yet, Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft recently announced that they will recognize the same Sitemap settings and structure.Sitemaps are an easy way for webmasters to inform search engines about the pages on their sites that are available for crawling. Simply put, a Sitemap is an XML file that lists URLs of a site often with additional metadata about each URL (when it was last updated, how often it usually changes, and how important it is, relative to other URLs in the site) so that search engines can more intelligently crawl the site.
The protocols, found at Sitemaps.org provide web masters direction on how to install an XML file on their servers that all three engines can use to track updates to pages. This should make it easier to get your pages indexed in a simple and standardized way.
Good news for Google fans
People who use Google Sitemaps donâ€™t need to change anything, those maps will now be indexed by Yahoo and Microsoft.
The protocol is offered under an Attribution-ShareAlike Creative Commons License allowing it to be used by any search engine while derivative variations using the same license can be created and used for commercial purposes.
Big news for SEO
For almost 10 years, engines have disagreed on standards, protocols, and policies for titles, links, headers, and page rank. In the past couple years progress has been made since an agreement on the nofollow attribute in January 2005. Though that progress has been slow, this is a significant advancement for the industry giving adding consistency to the arsenal of tools available to search marketing professionals and making it much easier for all of us to support search.