Microsoft, Yahoo!, and Google have aligned on a new, standardized sitemap protocol that allows webmasters to give all three companies' search engine spiders a complete listing of their site's pages. The Live Search Blog (Microsoft), the Yahoo! Search Blog, and the Webmaster Central Blog (Google) have color-coordinated announcements and the companies have put up a site to explain it all. The protocol has been released under the Creative Commons license (Attribution - Share Alike) to promote use by other search engines.
Now, if we can just get these three (and AOL) to get busy on federating instant messaging, standardizing address book formats, and a few other small details, the
web internet will work a lot better.