Saturday, November 18, 2006

A Better Search: Google, Yahoo And Microsoft To Use The Same Index Tool

If the Internet is a treasure chest of information, search tools are the skeleton key you need to open the lid. And the number of search tools you have at your disposal will have a direct bearing on exactly how much information you can unearth. The fact is that the commonly-used search tools such as Google, Yahoo, and Live Search are limited by the very fact that they attempt to catalogue and index so much.

But this situation may change after in their effort to better index the web sites Google, Yahoo and Microsoft decided to team up and use the same tool, called Sitemaps. The tool, initially developed by Google, is a easy way for webmasters to inform search engines about pages on their sites that are available for crawling. In its simplest form, a Sitemap is an XML file that lists URLs for a site along 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. Sitemaps are especially important if a site uses Macromedia Flash or JavaScript menus that do not include HTML links.

Also any company that manages dynamic content and a lot of web pages can benefit from Sitemaps. For example, if a company that utilizes a content management system (CMS) to deliver custom web content – (i.e., pricing, availability and promotional offers) – to thousands of URLs places a Sitemap file on its web servers, search engine crawlers will be able discover what pages are present and which have recently changed and to crawl them accordingly. By using Sitemaps, new links can reach search engine users more rapidly by informing search engine "spiders" and helping them to crawl more pages and discover new content faster. This can also drive online traffic and make search engine marketing more effective by delivering better results to users.

The three companies have launched a site that explains the Sitemap protocol and how to generate the Sitemap XML files.

The first version of Sitemaps, Sitemaps 0.84, was introduced by Google in June 2005. Yahoo and Microsoft will use an updated version Sitemaps 0.90.

In August this year, Google has launched called Webmaster Central, for better communication with site owners and Google Sitemaps has been renamed as Google Webmaster Tools.

"Now, website owners will be able to go to one place for alerting the search engines to their web pages, something they have been requesting for some time", said Tim Mayer, director of product management at Yahoo Search.

"Windows Live Search is happy to be working with Google and Yahoo on Sitemaps to not only help webmasters, but also help consumers by delivering more relevant search results so they can find what they're looking for faster," said Ken Moss, general manager of Windows Live Search at Microsoft. "I am sure this will be the first of many industry initiatives you will see us working and collaborating on."

1 comment:

Hong Xiaowan's Studio said...

Sitebases, the next protocol after Sitemaps
It can save the time and press for the search engine, also for the websites.
It can bring new search engine that named Search Engine 2.0 .
Using Sitebases protocol, will save 95% bandwidth above. It is another sample for long tail theory.
In this protocol, I suggested that all search engine can share their Big Sitebases each other, so the webmaster just need to submit their Sitebases to one Search Engine.
And I suggested that all search engines can open their search API for free and unlimited using.

Please visit: http://www.sitebases.org/protocol/