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.
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."