Adding Google Generated Content For Variety

I have mixed feelings about third party generated content. For some web sites they work well, for others they can appear as cheap content solutions. I am also wary of anything that can take traffic away from your site. However, whilst they may not be my cup of tea, they may well suit your needs.

One content solution to consider comes from Google in the form of a news show. I know there are quite a few ‘news’ widgets that can be added to websites, the NewsShow from Google is just another one. However, where Google’s does differ is in some of the options that are available.

The size of the widget is a bit of a problem. There are two options – a 728 x 90 leaderboard and a 300 x 250 rectangle. There are no color options so you have to accept the white background with blue, black and green text.

Where you can really customize the widget is in the type of news displayed. You can just go for the general headlines, or you can be more specific with topics like health, politics, sport, business and several others. You can also preselect a country or leave Google to auto select the country and along with it, the language.

You can load the code as a simple iframe which will work well on most web sites. If you want to make changes beyond the basics then you will need to include the Google AJAX API loader. There is a comprehensive set of instructions on the relevant help page.

Is it a good idea to include this type of content? For some web sites yes. Just be aware, particularly if there is an important breaking story, you may lose traffic because of it. On its own, the news widget may just add a little variety to your content. From an SEO perspective, whilst it is adding new content, it is only temporary and will not really give you much in the way of benefits. They are not for me – but Google’s NewsShow may be just what you are looking for when it comes to variety.

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