If you’re running a website using the popular WordPress blogging platform and you’re a big fan of that little silicon valley company “Google,” there are several plugins you can install on your blog that will allow you do do everything from track your blogs visitors with Google Analytics, to embedding Google Adsense into your blog and RSS feeds and even Map Out Directions among other uses. This is our list of the Top 10 Google Plugins For WordPress.
Google Analytics WordPress Plugins
1. Google Analyticator – This program auto installs the necessary tracking code needed to track your sites visitors. The program requires no template editing which should satisfy even the most basic users looking to track their site. The program also utilizes async tracking rather than the older ga.js tracking, making the program operate faster and with less resources required. This program also includes an administrator dashboard for viewing visitor information for the last 30 days without having to log directly into your Google Analytics account, a real time saver for “visitor obsessed” webmasters.
2. Google Analytics for WordPress – Just like Analyticator this program installs Google Analytic tracking for its user, it’s also developed by Joost de Valk, a pioneer in the creation of top notch WordPress plugins, including the ultra popular Sociable plugin and various other projects. This program offers a wordpress supported dashboard. Here’s what wordpress.org had to say about the program: It can track “outbound links from within posts, comment author links, links within comments, blogroll links and downloads. It also allows you to track AdSense clicks, add extra search engines, track image search queries and it will even work together with Urchin.” This is definitely a top notch program with great functionality.
3. Ultimate Google Analytics – Yet another plug-in for WordPress users to track their Analytics account and again no template modifications are needed. This program will track track outbound links, downloads from your own site and mailto: links. This program isn’t as involved as the other two with their nice dashboard readouts, but if you spend a lot of time in your Google account anyways it’s still a great and lightweight option.
Google Search For WordPress Blogs
4. Google Ajax Search – I tested this plugin on WordPress version 2.8.5 and it worked like a charm. The plugin users Ajax to offer up Google searching for both on blog and web searching, while a second option allows for an alternate URL search to be searched. The plugin is widgetized for easy placement and it works as advertising.
5. Google Custom Search Plugin – Another great option for replacing your standard WordPress search box with Google generated responses. Once again users simply follow the on-screen steps, the program then implements on and off site searching and the “Search Page” can even be customized for width and margins. The best part about Google Customer Search is that you can define which sites get searched, which sites are blacklisted and even which sub-domains are included and excluded. If you’ve never tried Google CSE you can find it at Google.com/CSE. If you have partner sites or manage more than one blog this is a much have option for cross-searching from one blog to another.
Google PageRank Tool
6. Google PageRank Tool – Formerly known as SlaptiGooglePR, this program adds Google pagerank readouts on the “Manage pages” and “Manage posts” sections of your admin panel. Users can use this info to see how individual pages and posts rank. The program also adds a sitewide pagerank at the top right hand corner of the users WordPress dashboard.
Google Sitemap Plugins For WordPress
7. Google XML Sitemaps – After installing the Google XML Sitemaps application the program will auto create the sitemap for your site and dynamically update that sitemap as you add and delete blog posts to your site. Users can choose the “Frequency” of updates for each post, such as daily, weekly, monthly, which tells Google Bots when to revisit that part of the users site. The program is very simple to use and ultimately effective with excellent XML output that meets all major requirements for properly formatted XML and Sitemap outputs.
8. Google News Sitemap Generator – If you want to be included in Google News, you need to have a sitemap that can easily be indexed. This generator places properly laid out XML in a “news friendly” output. This plugin includes “date published”, “title”, “keywords” and other tags that Google requires for a news site to be index via Google News.
Google Maps WordPress Plugin
9. MapPress Easy Google Maps – An easy editor to add Google Maps to your blog on the fly, MapPress requires that you apply for a Google Maps API. Simply enter in the location information from the plugins screens which are user friendly and you can add in Google Maps with full previews right from your WYSIWYG Editor via the Admin panel as you work on posts. Once completed each map will have full hover over and click interactivity to help add new dynamic interactivity to your pages and posts.
Google 404 WordPress Plugin
10. AskApache Google 404 – This is my favorite plugin option for WordPress, rather than simply displaying a “404 Page Not Found” error, the program uses Ajax and a few database tricks to display “possible matches” for users mistyped searches. For example. If I typed “Animal Famr” on a book blog while I meant to type “Animal Farm” the blog will display “Animal Farm” along with any other matching words, ensuring my users don’t think my sites missing their required data. The newest version adds related posts, recent posts, and integrates thickbox for instant previews. If you’re serious about your visitors overall experience while using your site this is a must have Google Plugin for wordpress.
There are many other Analytics, Search, Sitemap and other Google Plugins for WordPress that we could cover. However in my personal experience these Plugins operate as advertised, have never slowed down my website and are generally useful for a variety of needs.
Do you have a Google WordPress Plugin you want to share with our readers? Leave your comments below with your favorite Google Plugins and I’ll try to incorporate them if their a strong fit for our list.