Vanessa Fox announced yesterday that Google Sitemaps has been renamed Google Webmaster Central. It’s not just a change of name, but rather a new platform to help webmasters maximize the crawl of their websites and also to make it easier for them to communicate with Google.
Google seems to be making serious efforts to improve communication with webmasters. Note that Vanessa Fox recently started a thread on WebMasterWorld where she invites members to ask question regarding Google crawling and indexing issues.
Our whole team is looking at better ways to communicate with webmasters, and the creating and submitting Sitemaps is just one small piece of that overall communication.
Google Webmaster Central comes with a new blog, a new Google Group, and new tools. New tools include a enhanced Crawl Report, Query Stats, Preferred Domain, an option that allows you to choose if you want to display the www. version of your site in the SERPS or the one without.
I invite you to read Rand’s Google Webmaster Central in-depth review to learn more about these new tools and see how they can be useful for your site(s).
I personnaly think some of these tools are very useful, for example the crawl report can help you spot urls that timed out when Google tried to crawl them or the “Preferred domain” option.