The big three search engines announce joint sitemaps support


Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft have announced joint support of Google's sitemaps protocol. A new site,, will support the effort. Yahoo is apparently already accepting submissions, although this is not clear from their Site Explorer submission screen. Microsoft is still testing sitemaps internally.

Each of the engines should be commended for this constructive collaboration, following on the heals of noodp support.

Ask, come join the party! Don't be a spoilsport!



I am sick of making the Google Sitemap for clients.. then having to make that Yahoo thing (I hardly call that text file a sitemap with zero reporting) and then looking at MSN and ASK saying good luck.


In the red corner, I kinda think that needing to feed the SE's something in order that they may properly crawl your site is a problem in itself.

However, the bit about maybe working together on robots.txt standards, now that I would applaud. Proper wildcarding, better directory options - I'll have some of that.

LOL Maybe better software now?

I just remember Google Sitemaps Creator crashing the Xeon w/ 3072 MB of RAM :) Never send a python to do C++'s job.


Wow - did anyone look outside to see if they could spot any pigs flying around...

I don't know about anyone else, but this kind of cooperation between the top three search engines makes me nervous... very nervous indeed...

Why use a sitemap?

While a sitemap can help search engines find otherwise hidden content, I agree that it really shouldn't be used for this purpose - the underlying site architecture issues should be addressed directly.

The true value of a sitemap is to pro-actively notify search engines of new and updated content. This is a win-win for both parties - search engines can better focus their crawling resources and site owners will (hopefully) see their content updated in the engines sooner.

The lack of a time stamp was one of the main deficiencies in the Yahoo! "urllist" approach. Yahoo! than began accepting RSS feeds, but most sites did not have a comprehensive RSS feed to submit (bloggers probably being the notable exception). Some of us made less than steller attempts to create an RSS feed using the Google sitemap program, but this was a kludge at best.

Video of the announcement

Vanessa Fox of Google and Tim Mayer of Yahoo discuss in a video interview with WebProNews.

You can watch it at: WebProNews Video

DaveN made a great point on

DaveN made a great point on StrikePoint. He said that this is a really bad thing for an SEO to add to a site. If all your pages get indexed with a sitemap, you will never know which were due to links. Since an indexed page without links have no weight in a links based engine your masking your problem ( which is needing links ) and making it more difficult to correct. I found that pretty insightful.

For a complex site an old

For a complex site an old fashioned HTML or XHTML site map readable _both_ by human visitors and spiders. But it seems to me that publishing a XML sitemap does nothing for human visitors browsing the site and is only optimizing for search engines. Just seems like too much spoon feeding to the SE's to me - can't they crawl properly anymore or are they just lazy?

@Brad: Or rather your the

@Brad: Or rather you are the lazy SEO if you rely on the xml sitemap to get indexed.

will make my life easier

Well, for anyone who has to deal with "optimization by committee" and client's crazy content management systems this has to be a blessing.

Littleman, that kind of

Littleman, that kind of thing would be the one reason why one might want to use something like this. Otherwise, where pages are already being picked up, or will be, I don't see the use for it.

I suppose the analytics are interesting; however, I suspect that's a two-edged sword; I'm not crazy about the idea of sharing marketing information with anyone.

One Sitemap to rule them all

"One Sitemap to rule them all, One Sitemap to find them, One Sitemap to bring them all and in the darkness bind them."

Apologies to J.R.R. Tolkien.


Wow... it's really nice that the SEs are open to suggestions these days. I suggested in my blog back in September that it would be best for everybody if they'd use a common format:

Hopefully each of the major search engines will try to employ identical or compatible formats for site URLs, because it will be a hassle to have to keep up with multiple formats. This is an area where the SEs really ought to cooperate with one another for “pro bono publico” - for the common good. Currently, Yahoo seems to be just defensively immitating Google in this arena, and no one’s showing signs of collaborating.

I tried submitting a sitemap

I tried submitting a sitemap tonight at Yahoo and Google, but it doesnt seem to be working yet.

Works like a charm

I've spent the necessary time updating the sitemap headers to the 0.9 version and registering and authenticating my sites with Yahoo (Site explorer), and then the sitemaps. You submit the sitemaps using the feeds box. I'm not happy with the use of a different id key for each website for the ownership authentification. I like to be able to copy the same single key from site to new site as you can do with Google's key and avoid having to download a new key for each site.

I am amazed...

That there is not more of an uproar in the SEO world about this.

I don't think any good SEO believes that sitemaps are going to help you rank better or get better conversions (as a matter of fact there is a real good argument that google's sitemaps can hurt your sites overall rankings sitemaps only get pages indexed, but if your site is built correctly the search engines are going to index all the pages you want anyway as fast as you put them up.

So, the average website does not need sitemaps to get indexed and your website does not get any boost in the rankings for using sitemaps and sitemaps could even hurt your rankings... SO WHY USE SITEMAPS?

Just what are the 'real' goals of this sitemaps project anyway? Did the big three get together just to make life easier for the lazy webmaster that won't spend the time or money build a good indexable site? I don't think so...

At pubcon I was amazed at

At pubcon I was amazed at how many SEOs were pro-sitemaps and pro-webmaster tools. It might be that those were the only web masters talking openly ;-) but it seemed odd to me at the time.

Then again I was amazed at how many openly expressed their hatred of "black hats" and their commitment to "white hat SEO".

There was plenty of beer, but perhaps a good deal of Goolaide™ as well.

Drinking for different reasons

I believe that there are two distinctly different mindsets in play here. One is that while many are competetive webmasters, that skillset is becoming harder to keep honed. Thus they turn to Google for assistance. They realize that Google can level the playing field if the majority adopt and use the same tools. The same tools in the hands of a craftsman will yield a higher quality creation than that of an apprentice.

The second factor is one of submission and dominance. If they can rank while in effect opening their books to Google thru the use of these tools, then they assume that there is less retribution to be risked down the road.

Animals to do this, particularly pack animals like dogs. A dog will roll on its back, exposing its belly to a more dominant one in a sign of submission. A dominant dog may do the same behavior, but with the intent to reassure another dog that it just wants to play, knowing that there is little risk and it can still dominate at will.


The second factor is one of submission and dominance.

So I think what your saying Kirby is that a lot of webmasters are sucking up to google in some vain and usless hope of ranking better in google...

I got BIG news for all those webmasters. "You never get ahead by following"...

I got BIG news for all those

I got BIG news for all those webmasters. "You never get ahead by following"...

Sure you do. If you follow the leader, you get ahead of everyone who doesn't follow that leader. And when that leader falls, or turns on his own....


If you follow the leader, you get ahead of everyone who doesn't follow that leader.

Following the leader... Just means your following someone else...

And what happens when the 'leader' goes the wrong way and your still following...

Not everyone sucks

up to Google just because they use some of their tools. Aaron uses Analytics on TW.

Does not compute

I can't reconcile this:

Not everyone sucks up to Google just because they use some of their tools. Aaron uses Analytics on TW.

with this:

I like the idea of ReviewMe more for the feedback you can get than if the publisher decides to add a link to their editorial reviews.

So I ran Aaron's post through Babbelfish (converting marketingspeak to English) and it replied 'I read Playboy for the articles'.


As a result

of the internet and the availablity of pics on demand, I'm sure more do read Playboy for the articles these days.

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