Posted 22 November 2005 - 04:36 PM
The Yahoo-function can't be compared to Google Sitemaps :-)
What the submission of the URL list does is just save you the manual work of adding them all to the submit URL listing. Yahoo is generally a heck of a lot faster at just finding your site (as a registrar it checks all new registrations after about 10-30 days, according to my tests). If you have links from other sites, it'll find the site much faster and crawl it fully if you have enough "good" links. Remember: how long does it take manually entered URLs to get into Yahoo's index? Why should a URL-listing function make it easier than the paid inclusion? ;-)
One thing to keep in mind - the file you submit to Yahoo is read once, and one time only, when you submit. You can remove the file afterwards. No need to gzip it, it's a one time bandwidth hog. For the same reason, there's no need to keep the file updated, Yahoo doesn't look anymore, ever (at least since I started keeping track in August).
Google Sitemaps checks the sitemaps file(s) twice daily (at the moment, perhaps that'll change?) and on a site that is "valued" enough Google will crawl new URLs based on the contents of the sitemaps file. Try it on a good site, add a new URL that isn't linked within your site, Google will pick it up within hours (depending on the value of the site, of course). Sitemaps is amazing in that regard!
(shameless plug - my GSiteCrawler can generate Google Sitemaps and Yahoo URL lists, and lots more, and is still free :-))
Another thing about Google Sitemaps - the statistics are getting better and better all the time; I would not be surprised if Google had a full-scale webmaster control panel through the sitemaps interface by spring 2006. At the moment it's still a bit limited, but I think they're just practicing -- it's good to see where a crawler like Google runs into trouble when looking at your site, it makes "fixing" it much easier.
Another thing to keep in mind, Google Sitemaps will most likely remain Google-proprietary, even if they say otherwise. The main issue is (at the moment), that you can call your sitemap files whatever you want and you have to register them at Google's site in order for Google to pick them up. How would Yahoo find out about them? They can't guess at it (at least they haven't so far)... MSN is supposedly working on something similar based on RSS (anyone have more on that?), I don't know what Yahoo is planing. Or do they put all the money into making a better crawler that doesn't need help? Hmm.