Announcements by Microsoft and Yahoo that they will adopt Google's Sitemap Protocol should put smiles on the faces of Webmasters and IT departments spending increasing hours on search engine optimization.
The 18-month-old protocol is now in effect at Yahoo and Microsoft plans to have it implemented early next year. All three companies also say they will be working together from this point on enhancements and promoting the protocol as a standard. (The three, together, can claim over 85 percent of the search engine market.)
In addition to simplifying the Webmasters' task of creating XML-based site maps so that search engines can crawl sites and index static and dynamic content more efficiently, the three partners say the common protocol will benefit end users, of course, with improved search results.
The protocol is released under a Creative Commons license.