Google Gadgets and AdSense

By May 11, 20073 Comments

A gadget is an XML file that wraps existing web content or applications. Gadgets are being used more and more frequently to showcase “cool” content from one website on another. Google plans to use this technology to offer its traditional text link advertising, display advertising, and interactive gadgets to its huge network of advertisers via AdSense.

AdSense publishers will be able to select the a format that best suits their need, and the Google AdWords system will deliver the most relevant / profitable ad content. According to Niall Kennedy’s weblog, the advertising content can behave like a miniature application, integrating tabs, updating its content on-the-fly using web feeds and other data protocols, and creating small interactive experiences across the web.

The image below shows a sample gadget, a flight status tracker, that webmasters can easily integrate into their own sites:

Google Gadget ads will work in the same way as other Google contextual advertisement formats. The Google AdSense blog gives a pretty good introduction to using Google Gadgets

Google Gadgets for AdSense


  • Neil Williams says:

    You might also be interested in a brand new start page available called Funky Homepage (http://www.FunkyHomepage.com). It’s comprised mainly of Google gadgets (as well as Gadgets from other sources), live news feeds (with your choice of news provider), daily Bushisms, daily jokes, horoscopes, videos, weather (up to 5 locations), interactive calendar, Google calendar viewer (for up to 5 Google calendars), comic strips and lots more besides. It also lets you choose your own search engine, colour scheme, etc.

    Unlike many of the other personalised start pages available, there’s no need to create an account and it’s all already set up for you, with the most popular gadgets organised by category and sub-category. So there’s virtually no setting-up work required by the user, making it ideal for the mainstream audience and those (like me) who can’t be bothered to do all the work of setting up their own page. More adventurous (and less lazy) users can choose to add their own Google gadgets and RSS feeds, but most people just use the gadgets and tools provided.

    Unlike Netvibes, PageFlakes and all the other AJAX powered home pages, Funky Homepage does not use a drag and drop interface. Instead it allows you to select from a drop-down list of the most “popular” gadgets and feeds – “popular” according to the Google gadgets most popular list, that is. As such, it’s not really intended to compete with the flexibility of Netvibes and PageFlakes, but instead is intended to address a gap in the market for those who want something a bit more funky than Google or Yahoo, but without all the setting up required of Netvibes and Pageflakes. So only the most popular gadgets are offered. Although it still maintains a large degree of flexibility for the more adventurous users, allowing them to enter their own feeds and gadgets, should they wish. Whether you like it or hate it, at least it offers an alternative from the plethora of AJAX-powered homepages that are now available.

    It’s free to use.