A couple of days ago, without big announcements Sitemaps.org has released the final specification for sitemap protocol. A version 1.0 of the sitemap protocol now besides being supported by the big 3 search engines (Google,Yahoo and Microsoft) is also being supported by the Ask.com. I hope that the rest of the search world will join this effort in helping the search engines the website structure recognition.
The sitemaps.org site have also updated and published the information in 18 (eighteen) languages, which is quite a surprise for me. Portuguese language was not forgotten, so i am a kind of happy besides still complaining about Google Zeitgeist, but at the same time, the front page in all languages is still referring to the 0.9 version of the sitemap protocol, which is already an outdated specification =O)
Also a notable fact is that the search engine bots are supporting sitemaps reference from the world famous robots.txt file. The syntax is quite simple:
This is quite an interesting and very smart way of sitemap publishing – this way you don’t really have to submit your sitemap to each and every search engine, when they visiting your site, they will find about the sitemap from the robots.txt, so it is a great optimization of time. No more manual sitemap submission is the most important change done to the way, the sitemap protocol is handled.