Apparently Google, Yahoo and MSN all getting together about agreeing to use the Sitemap xml format to index your web site is having some good fallout.
They've all agreed to look at your robots.txt file (which all crawlers look for) and you can now point to your sitemap url from there, and they will happily chew upon it!
To do this, simply add the following line to your robots.txt file:
You need to provide the complete URL for your Sitemap on this line. They will pick it up --wherever you put it in your robots.txt file. This directive is not specific to user-agent. If you have multiple Sitemaps, you can point to your Sitemap index file on this line.
Details about the Sitemaps protocol including this addition are available on the protocol website here: http://www.sitemaps.org.
The Google sitemap invention and protocol is a great SEO tool for your web site or blog. We have used this on our eggheadcafe.com site since the inception of sitemaps. On my IttyUrl.net site, i actually have a page that reads and caches my own autogenerated sitemap xml and turns it into a "page of links" - just so non-sitemap bot crawlers have something to consume.
Now that MSN, Yahoo and Google are all digesting this stuff, you've got yourself a triple with the same amount of effort as just getting on to first base.