Comprehensiveness and freshness are key initiatives for every search engine, and with autodiscovery of sitemaps, everyone wins:
· Webmasters save time with the ability to universally submit their content to the search engines and benefit from reduced unnecessary traffic by the crawlers
· The search engines get information with regards to pages to index as well as metadata with clues about which pages are newly updated and which pages are identified as the most important
· Searchers benefit from improved search experience with better comprehensiveness and freshness
In addition, Ask.com is now supporting submission of Sitemaps via http://submissions.ask.com/ping?sitemap=SitemapUrl.
Of course, neither autodiscovery nor manual submission guarantee pages will be added to the index. The pages must meet our quality criteria for inclusion in the index. And use of these submission methods does not influence ranking.
I will be talking about today’s announcement (along with my counterparts at Google, Microsoft and Yahoo!) during the SiteMaps and Site Submission session at SES in New York later this morning. If you aren’t able to join us, more information is available at http://www.sitemaps.org and http://about.ask.com/en/docs/about/webmasters.shtml#22.
We are excited about our participation with the Sitemaps via robots.txt protocol and look forward to our collaboration with Google, Microsoft, Yahoo! and others in furthering important initiatives that make search easier for webmasters and more powerful for users.