Google, Microsoft and Yahoo have agreed to all support a unified system of submitting web pages through feeds to their crawlers. Called Sitemaps, taking its name from the precursor system that Google launched last year, all three search engines will now support the method.

More about Sitemaps is to be provided through the new site. As part of the announcement, the existing sitemaps protocol from Google gets a version upgrade to Sitemaps 0.9. However, no actual changes to the system have taken place. The new version number was simply done to reflect the protocol moving from an exclusive Google system to one that all three search engines now support.

Other search engines are also invited to use the system -- it has specifically been placed as open property through Creative Commons so that others can make use of it. FYI, Ask isn't part of this announcement because it wasn't invited by the other three to take part, which I find unfortunate. Then again, among all four, Ask is the only one that doesn't already accept submissions in some way.

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