Gadgets for a cause

Tuesday, April 8, 2008 | 10:56 AM

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If you have a website, you've probably thought about how to attract more attention to it. You may have already spent time optimizing it and applying for a Google Grant to drive new traffic to your site. But one lesser-known way to drive traffic and reach your supporters with your messages is by building and promoting a Google Gadget with the Gadget Builder for Organizations.

Google Gadgets are like miniature web pages that people can add to iGoogle (the personalized version of the Google homepage) and other websites. Tens of millions of people have their own iGoogle pages, and many of them arrive directly at iGoogle when they visit Your gadget could contain snippets of your website's most recent news, video and various other kinds of content; it's an innovative and effective way to keep in touch with your supporters and publicize your cause.

Once you've created a gadget, you can submit it for inclusion in the gadget directory. You can also promote it prominently from your own website so that your supporters can add it to iGoogle and stay up-to-date on your organization's activities. Supporters can also share it with their friends and add it to their own websites.

Creating a gadget is fairly simple: you just need some content (YouTube channel, newsletter, blog, online donation capabilities, initiative updates, etc.), a logo for your organization, and the ability to upload your gadget to your website.

Start by using the Gadget Builder for Organizations to create a simple one and learn how to promote and track its usage. If you have any feedback, you can send it to We can't guarantee a response to every message, but we're interested in your thoughts about the tool.

Check out the Google Gadget Center if you'd like more information about our gadgets in general. Advanced developers can learn more from the Google Gadgets API.