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Google Now Reporting Number Of Users Per Gadget
Got a Google Gadget? Google’s now reporting how many users make use of it, in
addition to the pageviews figures it
started posting earlier this year.
The new user stats can be found via Google’s
Homepage Content Directory.
There you’ll see gadgets that can be added to your
personalized homepage, with the number of users shown directly under the
gadget’s name, as can be seen highlighted in the screenshot below:
Click through to the gadget’s home page, and you’ll get both users and pageviews,
such as shown below:
Users are the number of logged-in Google users making use of that gadget, when
the user figure snapshot was taken (this is done twice per week, normally on
Mondays and Thursdays, Google told me). This means there are actually more
people than reported using a particular gadget, since cookies can make gadgets
appear on the iGoogle personalized homepage even for users who are not logged
in. In addition, gadget usage outside of Google itself is not counted.
Pageview figures continue to be reported on a weekly basis.
What’s the most popular gadget? Right now, you can’t tell easily based on pure
user or pageview numbers (though for pageview popularity, Niall Kennedy did some
crawling to come up with a
customized list back in April). Selecting the
Popular category, for
example, does not sort gadgets there by most used or the ones with the most
pageviews. Instead, sorting is currently done using an algorithm that ranks how
often a gadget is added to Google personalized home pages in relation to its
overall age and other factors.
This might change in the future, as Google is considering a revamp of the
content directory, they told me.
By the way, while I’ve been talking about gadgets, the directory actually lists
both gadgets (such as the
PacMan game) as well as feed content (such as our own
Search Engine Land feed module, shown below), which means you can get user
figures even for feeds:
Keep in mind that Google Reader
subscriber figures for feeds. I think these are different (and probably higher)
than the new gadget user figures being shown. I’m checking on this.
Thinking you need to be in that directory? Google provides a guide for
developers here, or you
can use one of the very basic gadget templates
here, or take the easy option
of opening an iGoogle account, then using the "Add by URL" link next to the
Search Homepage Content button at the top of the
content directory. At the
moment, I believe that’s what gets you into the directory eventually (again, I’m
checking on this).
Wondering if you’re already listed? Search for your exact feed URL, and that
should bring up your module within the directory (here’s
how it works for Search Engine Land).
Postscript: Some answers to follow-up questions:
We automatically add feeds once they cross a minimal popularity threshold,
but right now do not have other mechanisms for adding feeds. The best way to
get listed is to encourage people to add the feed to their page (through the
"add to google" button, for example). There is a formal mechanism for
submitting gadgets to the directory, available at
Re: subscriber numbers, you are correct. The counts listed in the iGoogle
directory do not include Google Reader. Feedfetcher reports the sum of Google
Reader and iGoogle subscriptions.
Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.