Google a few days ago announced the Google Publisher Plugin for WordPress. The goal of the new WordPress plugin from Google is to make it easier and more efficient to integrate Google products into the WordPress platform.
The new plugin can be installed for those that run a self-hosted WordPress blog. The Google Publisher Plugin for WordPress is not available for those that run WordPress.com though, which should give you another reason to switch to a self-hosted website if you have not thought about it before.
This first iteration of the Google Publisher Plugin supports 2 products by the search giant for seamless integration with WordPress:
The Google Publisher Plugin allows webmasters and site owners to linkup a WordPress site directly with an AdSense account. Thus making it easier to place Google ads on a WordPress site without needing to manually modify any HTML code which a lot of people seem to be allergic too.
Google Webmaster Tools
With the Google WordPress plugin you can verify a site on Google Webmaster Tools with just one click. As opposed to needing to manually upload a verification file in a folder with your host. Sometimes this can be annoying and I've had issues where I've uploaded the verification file and it didn't work. Happy to see that Google now has a WP plugin to do this more easily in case of any issues.
Google Publisher Plugin
This is an extremely smart move on Google's part since WordPress powers about 19% percent of the web. (This statistic is from the 2013 State of the Word.) It's good for them to directly support the Google Publisher Plugin since so many people love and use WordPress everyday. This shows that the world's most popular blogging and content management system is only getting stronger.
I'm sure the other benefit for Google besides making customers happy is data collection. They will probably gain a lot of insight into how people interact with Google's products via their websites and use that data to improve their search engines.
The downside to this news is for other search engines that compete with Google and WordPress developers. It will be interesting to see if other search engines adopt Google's lead with maintaining and developing a WP plugin. I imagine that Bing would want to develop a plugin too. WP developers that build plugins for Google integration and ad rotation placement may not be pleased with this announcement. It's Google stepping on WP developers toes a little bit.
Keep in mind that the Google Publisher Plugin for WordPress is currently in beta, meaning they have not worked out all the kinks and bugs. They want people to test it out and report feedback on how it works on your site(s). If you are interested in downloading the plugin visit the WordPress.org plugin directory and search for it.
Have any thoughts about the Google WordPress plugin? Let me know below.