Even though the three major players on the search engine market are stuck in an endless three-horse race for audience, market share and the biggest slice of the online advertising industry, Microsoft, Google and Yahoo have no problems joining hands from time to time. Especially if collaborating will benefit all search engine developers equally. It is the case of support for cross-domain sitemaps. One thing that Microsoft needs to do with Live Search is to get on par with Google and Yahoo. Despite advancements delivered by Windows Live Wave 2 at the end of 2007, Live Search is still lagging in terms of features, capabilities, functionality and ultimately technology behind both Yahoo and Google. But at the same time, there are small steps forward and support for cross-domain sitemaps is just another illustrative example in this regard.
“We're pleased to announce an update to the Sitemaps Protocol, in collaboration with Ask, Google, and Yahoo! This update should help many new sites adopt the protocol by increasing our flexibility on where sitemaps are hosted. Essentially, the change allows a webmaster to store their sitemap files just about anywhere, using a reference in the Robots.txt file to establish a trusted relationship between the sitemap file and the domain or folder,” explained, Fabrice Canel, Program Manager, Live Search Crawler.