Wednesday, October 11, 2006 at 10:44 AMGoogle Gadgets are miniature-sized devices that offer cool and dynamic content -- they can be games, news clips, weather reports, maps, or most anything you can dream up. They've been around for a while, but their reach got a lot broader last week when we made it possible for anyone to add gadgets to their own webpages. Here's an example of a flight status tracker, for instance, that can be placed on any page on the web for free.
Anyone can search for gadgets to add to their own webpage for free in our directory of gadgets for your webpage. To put a gadget on your page, just pick the gadget you like, set your preferences, and copy-and-paste the HTML that is generated for you onto your own page.
Creating gadgets for others isn't hard, either, and it can be a great way to get your content in front of people while they're visiting Google or other sites. Here are a few suggestions for distributing your own content on the Google homepage or other pages across the web:
* Create a Google Gadget for distribution across the web. Gadgets can be most anything, from simple HTML to complex applications. It’s easy to experiment with gadgets – anyone with even a little bit of web design experience can make a simple one (even me!), and more advanced programmers can create really snazzy, complex ones. But remember, it’s also quick and easy for people to delete gadgets or add new ones too their own pages. To help you make sure your gadget will be popular across the web, we provide a few guidelines you can use to create gadgets. The more often folks find your content to be useful, the longer they'll keep your gadget on their pages, and the more often they’ll visit your site.
* If your website has a feed, visitors can put snippets of your content on their own Google homepages quickly and easily, and you don't even need to develop a gadget. However, you will be able to customize their experience much more fully with a gadget than with a feed.
* By putting the “Add to Google” button in a prominent spot on your site, you can increase the reach of your content, because visitors who click to add your gadget or feed to Google can see your content each time they visit the Google homepage. Promoting your own gadget or feed can also increase its popularity, which contributes to a higher ranking in the directory of gadgets for the Google personalized homepage.