Google, Yahoo and Microsoft team up for Sitemaps
Last week, Google, Yahoo and Microsoft agreed to support
the Sitemap 0.9 protocol. How can this new standard
help you to improve the ranking of your web site in search
What are sitemaps and what is the Sitemaps protocol?
Sitemaps are an easy way for webmasters to inform search
engines about pages on their sites that are available for
In its simplest form, a sitemap is an XML file that lists
URLs for a site along with additional metadata about each
- when it was last updated
- how often it usually changes
- how important it is, relative to other URLs in the site
This helps search engines to more intelligently crawl
The Sitemaps 0.9 protocol is
a new standard that will make it easier to create a sitemap
that can be parsed by all search engines.
How can you benefit from this new standard?
Web crawlers usually discover pages from links within
the site and from other sites. Sitemaps supplement this
data to allow crawlers that support sitemaps to pick up
all URLs in the sitemap and learn about those URLs using
the associated metadata.
The sitemap allows you to inform search engines about
the pages on your web site. Depending on how your web site
is structured, it can be easier for search engines to find
all of your web pages if you use a sitemap.
Does using the Sitemaps 0.9 protocol improve your
search engine rankings?
Using the Sitemap protocol does not guarantee that your
web pages are included in search engines, but provides
hints for web crawlers to do a better job of crawling your
A sitemap helps search engines to find your web pages
but it does not help you to get higher search engine rankings.
High rankings on search engines are the result of good
inbound links and optimized
web page content.
If your web pages have both, then search engines will
give them high rankings.
The new sitemaps protocol can help you to inform search
engines about your web pages. Further information about the
new sitemaps standard can be found on the official sitemaps web