Google Sitemap Protocol now the de facto Standard

If you are not already using Arne Brachhold’s Sitemap Plugin for WordPress, you had better get it installed as soon as possible. [tag]Google[/tag] announced this week that [tag]Yahoo![/tag] and [tag]Microsoft[/tag] are joining them in officially supporting the Sitemap 0.84 XML protocol.

Sitemaps help improve website visibility in search results by insuring that indexing bots don’t miss pages. Google’s Webmaster Central supports only the XML protocol. Yahoo’s Site Explorer current supports a plain text list of site URLs that must be named ‘urllist.txt’. Microsoft simply crawls your site the best they can once they either find it or are notified via their submit page.

I have been using a modified version of Elliott Kosmicki’s script to convert the XML file generated by Arne’s plugin into a Yahoo compliant sitemap. Maintaining sitemaps is going to get a lot simpler and indexing is going to get better. Kudos to Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo! for agreeing to support the same standard!