Google is constantly launching new tools and making updates to help improve the web, but what many people hadn't noticed (myself included) was that WordPress was never a part of Google's improvements. It's true that WordPress is not associated with or owned by Google, but many third-party companies have released plugins to help make WordPress easier. Last week, Google finally put it on our radar that A). This is the first time this has happened, and B). A WordPress plugin from Google has the potential to be very powerful.
How the New Google Publisher Plugin for WordPress Works
Although the plugin is still in beta, Google wants your feedback and is letting you download it here to give it a try. The plugin is all about giving a WordPress user access to Google services right there on the WordPress platform, with two services in particular:
- Google AdSense. You can link your AdSense and your WordPress account, which will make it easier to place ads and earn more money.
- Google Webmaster Tools. If you use this plugin, you can verify your site with one click as well as get reports about your rankings on Google.
It's also worth noting that this plugin is only for self-hosted WordPress installations, not for blogs you can begin by signing up at WordPress.com. At the moment WordPress.com only allows a set amount of plugins, but if all goes well its safe to assume that a plugin from Google will eventually make the list.
Getting Started: Once you download the plugin you will need to be signed into your Google account. This is where you will be prompted to verify your site if you have not already. Once you do this you'll be set to go! You can then manage your ads and actually see them right on your website. This is best shown with a few screenshots. The second screenshot below shows what you will see when you go to add advertisements onto your site. You can create different placements to visualize how it will look on your actual website:
The Verdict: Is the Google Publisher Plugin Worth It for Your Company?
After trying out the plugin for about one week, it's clear that its going to be a great addition to WordPress. After all, it allows you to look at Google information without leaving WordPress, so the fact that it would be good is pretty much a no brainer. What's very exciting about this news is the idea that Google might launch more options for the plugin in addition to AdSense and Webmaster Tools, which could open up a lot of opportunities for optimization and help keep everything in one place. In the meantime, I found the plugin easy to use and it can offer you information that you can't get from any other plugin.
Visit the WordPress.org plugin directory to get started with your own download. Let us know your thoughts and your experience in the comments below.
Photo Credit: thinkstockphotos.com; Photographer and Copyright: Photo-Dave