Google Releases Its First Plugin For WordPress Publishers

Google released its first plugin for self-hosted WordPress sites today. Google Publisher is now in beta and available on WordPress.org. The WordPress community is invited to test it out.

So far, the plugin includes two main features:

  • Easily add AdSense ads to your site to make money from advertising.
  • Verify your site with Webmaster Tools with just one click.

I tested the plugin this morning so we could take a tour. Even though they’re calling this a beta, it seems to work fairly smoothly out of the box.

Quick Tour of the Google Publisher Plugin

After installing Google Publisher, I found its options under Settings >> Google Publisher. Naturally, you’re going to need to sign in with Google to use it.

google-publisher

Verify With Google Webmaster Tools in 1 Click

Perhaps the most appealing feature of this plugin is the ability to get your site verified with Google Webmaster with just one click. For years we’ve seen tutorials about how to integrate Google AdSense and Webmaster Tools with WordPress. This plugin provides the easiest way I’ve seen so far to get your site verified by Google Webmaster Tools. There are no codes to add to your site and no lengthy verification process. Google makes it very convenient; simply authenticate and then you’re verified.

verified

The ‘manage’ button that you see ensures that you are always just one click away from viewing the Google Webmaster Tools dashboard for your site. From there you can easily check on crawl errors, search queries, find out who links to you, submit a sitemap and more.

webmaster-tools

Click to Place Google AdSense Ads

Since I don’t participate in AdSense, I wasn’t able to test drive that portion. However, the plugin’s details page gives you a good idea of what this feature includes. Google Publisher provides an interactive way to place ads in your page templates by simply clicking:

click-to-add-google-adsense

You can also preview example advertisements alongside your content before placing them there:

preview

Please be advised that the plugin is in beta and the Google development team is still fine-tuning it to work with publishers’ needs. It will be interesting to see how well Google supports its first WordPress plugin. Will Google provide support on WordPress.org or will it limit support to the Google help center? Will they pack this plugin full of new features for publishers further down the road? Only time will tell. Download Google Publisher to take it for a test drive and let us know what you think.

24 Comments


  1. wohooo, here I go to download. But, I am thinking why they didn’t include Google Authorship or 2-factor verification? I think there main goal is to make more money easily. Well, good review Gooding.

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      1. No betting!
        Now I’m checking how this plugin is going on my blog. It has received 3.5 rating already. :)

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      2. I saw that review – It’s because there are so few reviews and somebody thought it was “chaotic”.

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      3. Yes, it is really “chaotic”. I do not use adverts on my site, so I didn’t use that feature but when I verified my website with webmaster tools (site was verified long ago) then I was expecting to open something within WP dashboard but it plugin popped out a new tab and showed same what I have been seeing for six months. They didn’t put anything new, except a link (yes, I’m just one click away from my Google webmaster dashboard). I’m very negative, right now. I was feeling like I used a Chinese Android app which popped out in my browser instead of app. :(

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  2. That’s promising!

    I hope they’ll keep improving it. I would like to see a Google Webmaster Tools integration into the WordPress admin. I think Yoast is working on that, in his Premium SEO plugin. It will be interesting to see the differences between those two.

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    1. That would certainly be convenient to have in the WP admin, but I don’t know what kind of overhead it might add. I think it’s just as easy to click the link to see all of that info on Google.

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      1. Yeah, I see your point!

        Nevertheless, I guess if Yoast does that integration, he’ll add some value.

        One random idea: Webmaster Tools Queries only shows data of the last 3 months. Maybe the plugin can store that data on the WP database to keep historic archive of more than 3 months.

        Or something easier… maybe the plugin could show an alert on the WordPress admin if Webmaster Tools detects an increase amount of broken links or 404 errors. Or it could show all the GWT notifications on the admin area too.

        Anyway, I’m sure we’ll see more integration between GWT and WordPress soon! :) Well, at least that’s what I would like to :)

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  3. It looks awesome. Deploying it shortly to test it. I certainly hope they keep improving on it to make it a must-have plugin.

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  4. Just installed on my site. A little disappointed that this is the first “official” Google WordPress plugin. I didn’t install the Ad Manager yet but the webmasters option simply “connects” your site to WMT. Why can’t Google build something that better integrates its apps ecosystem to WordPress?

    I think you’re better off looking for a premium option.

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    1. I think the reason Google has been reluctant to support WordPress is because WordPress directly competes with its own blogging platform, Blogger.

      Now, granted, you can’t self-host Blogger… but in this case, that’s a minor distinction.

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  5. Damn you Google! :)

    It’s just days ahead of our product beta launch – AdPushup.com – which lets you optimize your Adsense earnings. Our MVP is focused on WordPress, and one of the components is the Visual Editor through which multiple ads (locations, designs, size etc.) can be placed on the WordPress website. I feel our editor is more flexible in terms of ad placement and settings, but this news is definitely a threat, or a validation in disguise.

    Note to team: launch the beta even faster!

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    1. I think you have nothing to worry about :), their plugin allows only to insert AdSense ads inside the theme (which anyone with limited HTML knowledge could do), your product is far more superior and provides actionable data .

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      1. Hi Greg,

        Thanks for your kind words :). I do hope all Google Publisher feel that!

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  6. Looks like a great addition to streamline task currently done by multiple plugins, especially if they add Google Authorship. Another addition I would love to see is multi publisher options so you can easily share Adsense revenues among multiple blog authors. Great review regardless.

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  7. Great to see Google release 2009 functionality. Always cutting edge.

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  8. Wow, hostile reception in the comments here. I’m glad to see Google entering the ring and hope to see more plugins from them in the future.

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  9. As developers working closely with Google Apps and WordPress, it is great to see Google taking a direct interest in the WordPress ecosystem. However, some comments here are asking for much deeper Google integration than just AdSense/GWT.

    Our “Google Apps Login” WordPress plugin, allows users to authenticate their WordPress accounts via Google Apps. (see wp-glogin.com)

    We are currently developing this into a platform for you to write your own extensions. Our own first extension allows you to embed Drive documents.

    Anyone who would like to beta test today, please email contact@wp-glogin.com!

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    1. I also found it disconcerting that the review didn’t mention anything about privacy and instead said that having to log into an external account is an “of course” with no further ado. We have never used a single plugin that requires logging in to anything within the plugin, so it was a surprise for us that it would be required for anything.

      If there’s a line that a plugin crosses after which having to log in to an external service transforms from “of course not” into a requirement, that line should be mentioned. E.g. “Due to … the plugin requires logging in to … to use.”

      Google is among those who already have the most data on everyone on the planet. As history has shown, any data can be put to many purposes.

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  10. Propriety vs Open is always a concern, especially from an 800 pound gorilla who’s end game is about dominance and control. Tools might be great and a whole lot of ooooh yeah, but at what price sacrifice?

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  11. That’s why we love WordPress. Everything is becoming automated for WordPress sites. Now, this plugin is surely a work reducer for site owners, easy site verification and management, so cool.

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  12. Has anyone figured out how to name the ads it places on site. Under the my ads section it gives generic names with a lot of numbers. So you can’t tell which ads are on which page to see what is working the best.

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