Google

Add to Google

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why would I want to place an “Add to Google” button on my site?
  2. How do I add a button to my site?
  3. How do I know the button works?
  4. What are feeds?
  5. What are gadgets? How do I create one?
  6. How do I create a feed for my site?
  7. How do I add a thumbnail to my feed?
  8. What feed formats are supported?
  9. I still have questions. Where can I get more help?

1. Why would I want to place an “Add to Google” button on my site?

One in five Google homepage views in the United States goes to iGoogle. You can post the “Add to Google” button on your website to urge visitors to add your choice content to iGoogle and see your items every time they visit the Google homepage.

The “Add to Google” button enables you to promote any content you choose, including interactive applications, feeds, and links to your own website, by making it easy for users to quickly add it to their iGoogle page. For as long as users keep your content on their iGoogle page, your items could appear to them each time they visit iGoogle. Active iGoogle users automatically see iGoogle each time they visit Google.com, so popular feeds/gadgets that link back to your website can drive lots of traffic back to you over time.

2. How do I add a button to my site?

Use the form to create the HTML for your site. Be sure to go to the right section for either your feed or gadget. Simply enter the URL for your feed or gadget, click "Create HTML" and copy and paste the resulting text onto your website.

Additionally, if you would like to promote more than one gadget or feed, you can select the “Several” option. This option enables you to generate a new tab on iGoogle that will contain your gadgets and/or feeds.

3. How do I know the button works?

Once you’ve placed an “Add to Google” button to your site, you can test it out by simply clicking on it and going through the process. You’ll know it worked if your content is successfully added to your Google homepage or Google Reader.

4. What are feeds?

If you have a frequently updated website, such as a blog or news publication, you can use a feed to help people stay up to date with your site. A feed is a specially formatted version of the content on your website. Feeds are machine-readable, which means that users’ feed readers and aggregators can automatically show them your latest content and alert them whenever updates appear.

5. What are gadgets? How do I create one?

The Gadgets API is a way to create rich gadgets with a greater functionality than a feed. Use it to turn your web content or application into gadgets that users can add to their Google homepage. You can also develop features that affect other aspects of the page, such as font and colour schemes. The Gadgets API doesn’t require any downloads, and was designed to be flexible and easy to use.

6. How do I create a feed for my site?

Most blog hosting services make it easy to create a feed. Check those sites’ help content for more information (e.g. Blogger, LiveJournal, or Typepad). You can also create custom feeds using Google News and Google Groups. If you host your own website, there are a number of resources on the web to help you get started creating feeds, such as this guide by Danny Sullivan.

7. How do I add a thumbnail to my feed?

Most of the gadgets displayed in the Google Directory have thumbnails associated with them that illustrate what the gadget does. You can specify a thumbnail in your feed. The suggested dimensions for thumbnails are 120 pixels wide by 60 pixels high. Google downloads this image, scales it to 120x60, adds padding as necessary, and for performance and reliability, re-hosts the image on a google.com server.

The syntax can vary depending on the type of feed format you are using. Here's an example of how you might include thumbnail information in an RSS feed:

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<rss version="0.92">
<channel>
<!-- The title is used in various places in the directory and Personalized Homepage
to help users. Please keep the title as short as possible. -->
<title>Test Feed</title>
<!-- The link is used in the Personalized Homepage title-bar, to link to your site -->
<link>http://www.google.com/</link>
<!-- The description is used in the detail page about your feed -->
<description>A nice long description of your feed.</description>
<!-- …other channel sub-elements may go here, e.g. ttl… -->
<image>
<url>http://www.google.com/ig/gadgets/sticky-thm.png</url>
<!-- …other image sub-elements may go here, e.g. width… -->
</image>

<item>
<title>RSS Item title #1</title>
<link>http://www.google.com/</link>
<!-- …other item sub-elements may go here, e.g. description… -->
</item>
<!-- …more items… -->
</channel>
</rss>

Here is an example for Atom:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes"?>
<?xml-stylesheet href="http://www.blogger.com/styles/atom.css"
type="text/css"?>
<feed xmlns="http://purl.org/atom/ns#" version="0.3" xml:lang="en-US">
<title mode="escaped" type="text/html">Test feed</title>
<tagline mode="escaped" type="text/html">A nice long description of your feed.</tagline>
<logo>http://www.google.com/ig/gadgets/sticky-thm.png</logo>
<!-- other feed sub-elements, including id, links, etc. -->
<entry xmlns="http://purl.org/atom/ns#">
<!-- …item elements… -->
</entry>
<!-- …other items… -->
</feed>

8. What feed formats are supported?

There are a number of popular feed formats out there. We currently support Atom (0.3 and 1.0) and RSS (0.91, 0.92, 1.0, and 2.0).

9. I still have questions. Where can I get more help?

If you have additional questions or need help placing an “Add to Google” button to your page, please contact us.