Posted April 11, 2007 5:51 pm by with 2 comments

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Threadwatch reports the latest development in sitemaps: autodiscovery.

That’s right, not only can autodiscovery be useful in helping search engines find your FeedBurner feed, but now they’ll also be able to find your XML sitemap more easily. Back in November Google, Yahoo and MSN agreed on the XML sitemap standard. Together, they then launched to promote the standard.

Once again, Google, Yahoo, and MSN (and Ask) have agreed on the standard for sitemap autodiscovery. Google’s Webmaster Central Blog carries the announcement today.

So how do you get your sitemap autodiscovered? Include the following line in your robots.txt file:


(Of course, you’ll have to use the correct URL for your sitemap.)

Remember also that you should only do this if your’e sture you want your sitemap submitted to the search engines. I can think of at least one SEM expert who doesn’t think it’s the best idea.

If Google, Yahoo and MSN (and Ask) can get along on this protocol, what else might they agree on in the future?

  • I think it’s a good choice from the major search engines to use an univoque sitemap xml protocol and, also, an univoque robots.txt line identificator.

  • It’s not surprising they can agree on something like that. There’s no competitive advantage to be obtained (for the search engines) in agreeing/disagreeing. It’s just nice to see a single standard emerge for a change.