Google appears to be in the process of rolling out new updates to its Webmaster Tools feature with some more useful functionalities
Along with todays announcement that Google Webmaster Tools now offers average position ranking for search queries for webmasters who have verified site ownership they also appear to be updating a number of parts of their webmaster tools. The previous sitemap module was updated last year but it seems that it well overdue for a refresh and some added functionality for webmasters using GWT to improve Google’s indexing of their clients websites.
The image below shows the top level version that only displays basic information about your submitted sitemaps, some more details is needed besides the basic information including a total count of URLs and Indexed URLs along with date downloaded and what format used but larger sites need more details.
The second image shows the drilled down sitemap details that supplies webmaster with much more detail about errors and issues, such as errors broken down via line, a quick resubmit link and the ability to view the actual sitemap. Based on Google’s move to improve site performance larger websites could benefit from guidance such as size of sitemap, time to taken to download, and suggestions about how to improve you indexing using XML sitemaps.