Today, we are excited to announce that Google, Microsoft and Yahoo! are coming together in support of the SiteMaps protocol. The goal of this effort is to improve search results for customers around the world. This protocol enables site owners everywhere to tell search engines about the content on their site instead of having to rely solely on crawl algorithms to find it.
So, why are we excited to work on this? Because by agreeing on a standard, we can provide site owners with one simple way to share information with every search engine. You just publish a sitemap, and every engine is instantly able to read and use the data to more effectively index your site. Since this is a free, widely supported protocol, our hope is that this will foster an even broader community of developers building support for it.
We are 100% behind this protocol – this kind of collaboration will help improve the search experience for all of our customers, and we are working hard to release full support in 2007. We are starting to alpha test with internal partners such as MSDN and Microsoft Support now. Like all teams at Microsoft, we like to dogfood our work internally to ensure that it is working properly before it is publicly released. Watch this space for an update as soon as we’re done.
Interested in the gritty details? Read more about the Sitemaps protocol at the official website: http://www.sitemaps.org. If you have any comments, please let us know by leaving a comment.
General Manager, Live Search