Google Gadget ecosystem statistics for March

The Google gadget ecosystem received 960 million pagevieiws last week, a 36% jump from numbers reported by the search giant just one month ago. Users are adding themes, videos, games, and even a few productivity tools to their personalized homepages and blog sidebars, creating new content for fun and business. In this post I’ll provide some new statistics about Google gadget growth over the past month, building upon my larger statistical overview of Google Gadgets in early March.

March saw the rebirth of two widget brands, and spring cleaning on a few others. On March 8 Yahoo! launched a major update to its My Yahoo! property on a limited scale, giving existing users a sneak peek at a revamped homepage with modules provided by Yahoo! and close partners. A day later Netvibes announced its new Universal Widgets API and a new version of their homepage. Google introduced a homepage redesign on March 20, including support for artistic themes that react to the time of day.

Let’s jump right to the stats. March numbers in this post were measured on March 3, 2007. April numbers were measured on April 2, 2007.

Total listed modules

Google added 622 gadgets to its directory in March, a 15% increase in available content. Available Netvibes modules increased 7%, likely bolstered by existing developers upgrading their modules to the new UWA markup format. Windows Live 13% more gadgets in its directory than just one month ago.

Widget startpage module growth, March 2007
ProviderMarchAprilGain
Google4,2264,84815%
Netvibes6737217%
Windows Live56964013%
Pageflakes1491533%

Fastest growing Google Gadgets

Total Google Gadget weekly pageviews grew 36% in the last month, but a few gadgets stood out with spectacular growth spurts. This growth could be caused by increased promotion by the authors, a high relevancy to an already popular gadget, seasonal changes in content demand, or many other reasons.

11 fastest growing Google Gadgets, March 2007
GadgetGain
Fortune cookie20,518%
Freebie of the day7,645%
The Weather Channel5,354%
Helicopter game5,145%
Windows Live Mail3,096%
Bowling Master2,972%
Customizable RSS Reader2,738%
Jokes and Humour1,951%
Slim RSS Reader1,892%
Wikipedia Photo of the Day1,888%
Odeo podcasts1,777%

RSS gadgets are a rising trend, providing a quick glance at a set of feeds on a personalized homepage, or sharing a relevant set of feeds within a webpage sidebar. I was surprised to see Microsoft’s Windows Live Hotmail on a list of fastest growing Google Gadgets, taking thousands of users at a time away from Microsoft’s own search promotion portal. Odeo might be up for sale, but that hasn’t stopped its podcast widget from climbing the charts in March.

Top Google-produced gainers

Google remains the most popular author on its own platform, accounting for about 60% of all weekly gadget views across the Google Gadget ecosystem. Google’s own gadgets grew at a slower rate than the rest of the ecosystem in March, trailing the market by about 2%.

Top 6 Google-produced gadget gainers, March 2007
GadgetGain
Feeds in Tabs159%
Google Video131%
Google Docs & Spreadsheets109%
Google Bookmarks108%
Google Checkout107%
Baseball Player of the Day93%

RSS gadgets show their continued popularity, this time as a one-feed per tab option provided by Google. Google Bookmarks and Google Docs & Spreadsheets gadgets are aimed at web users producing and tracking their newly created content, and may be an indicator of the general popularity of both services. The Google Checkout gadget was the biggest surprise to me, letting users follow the top-selling products and prices at retailers supporting Google Checkout’s purchase option.

Summary

Google continues to grow its gadget reach and content options, serving nearly one billion gadget views in the last week of March. The growth rate of Google-produced gadgets was slower than the general ecosystem in March, with third-party modules gaining more and more market share.

1 comment

Commentary on "Google Gadget ecosystem statistics for March":

  1. Michelle on wrote:

    Hi Niall. Great post. It’s exciting to see some numbers supporting the growth of the widget community.

    I am curious about the download of the widget engine and am wondering if you have any metrics on conversion rates? Also, any sense of where Yahoo! Widgets falls in the list in terms of growth rate?

    I’d love to hear back from you. Thanks!