Google has just released a beta tool for webmasters called Google Site Maps, which allows webmasters to submit an XML sitemap.
According to Google’s website and related blog entries, the goal is to make it easier for Google to index more of the web. Presumably, the major issues they’re trying to deal with involve dynamic sites.
Currently, the only software tool to create Google Site Maps is a Python script hosted in a project at Sourceforge. I would expect that someone will step up soon with similar tools implemented with other languages… perhaps even PHP. (Hint to SitePoint readers… major street cred awaits!)
Also interesting to note is that the Site Maps are being released under a Creative Commons license, to encourage other search engines to follow their lead.
It’s a sure thing that many webmasters will adopt the Google sitemap file, and that application designers will begin building support into shopping carts, content management systems, etc.