Standard Sitemaps From Google, Yahoo and Microsoft

Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft have all agreed on a standard specification for sitemap files. Information about the new standard can be found over at sitemaps.org. If you’re not sure what a sitemap is, sitemaps.org has a nice explanation:

Sitemaps are an easy way for webmasters to inform search engines about pages on their sites that are available for crawling. In its simplest form, a Sitemap is an XML file that lists URLs for a site along with additional metadata about each URL (when it was last updated, how often it usually changes, and how important it is, relative to other URLs in the site) so that search engines can more intelligently crawl the site.


Fortunately for me, there’s really nothing I have to do to take advantage of this new spec. I’ve had a sitemap file for quite a while, and it gets updated dynamically with every new post I make. My sitemap xml file is quite large.

Joseph Scott brings up an important aspect of this new spec, pinging. Pinging basically means that when you make an update to your blog or site, you can ping Google/Yahoo/MSN to let them know you’ve made an update. That way they can crawl your site sooner to index your new content. Pretty neat.

Build Your Own Google Search

Google has launched the Google Custom Search Engine. This new service will allow users to build a search engine based on their interests or just whatever really.

You can give your search engine a name and description. You can also enter a list of keyword that will be used to tune your search engine results. You can also set specific sites to search, so only those sites defined are searched. Here’s a bit from the Google Blog:

We’re thrilled to tell you that the search for your own search engine is over. Today we are launching the Google Custom Search Engine. As you might imagine, it’s a simple and straightforward product to use and understand. In a matter of minutes you can create a search engine that reflects your knowledge and interests; looks and feels like your own; and, if you choose, you can make money from the traffic you receive through Google’s AdSense program. You can even invite your friends and trusted community members to add to and help build your search engine.

RealClimate has already built this new service into their website. So, head over there if you want to see the thing in action. That site actually worked with Google previous to the launch of Google Custom Search Engine so they could get a nice demonstration put together by the launch day.

The AdSense Game

Joel Comm has created a pretty neat AdSense game. Basically, it’s a game focused on making money with your website through AdSense.

I thought it would be fun to put together an online game focused on making money with AdSense, and I’m pleased to invite you to come and try out The AdSense Game now!

Be sure to follow the instructions so you can get the hang of it quickly. Realize that it is just a simulation and not real life. It’s there for fun, but you may learn a thing or two along the way!


Joel has a post on his blog about the game in which he gives a few useful links to those who enjoy playing the AdSense game.

Looks like it could be pretty fun, but I think I’ll stick with the real AdSense “game”, this site. The AdSense game is comparable to games like Lemonade Tycoon and Rollercoaster Tycoon.

[via BlogNews Channel]