Google has rolled out a new recommendations gadget that allows sites that use Google Friend Connect to see which parts of their websites their visitors like best.
Publishers can create the gadget on Google Friend Connect’s site and then embed the code into their sites. Once the gadget is embedded, members can then recommend the content they like, anything from a whole page to a single photo by clicking a “recommend it” button that accompanies any piece of content on the site. It’s useful for both publishers and visitors, because they can easily see what parts of a site are the most popular. The items with the most votes will rise to the top of the list within the gadget, making it easier for others to find those features even if they are buried deep within a site. Website owners can also see which members have recommended a given item and learn more about them.
Google Friend Connect, which is the company’s own data portability effort, was opened up for all websites in the beginning of December 2008, right when Facebook made Facebook Connect generally available as well.
To compete with Facebook Connect, Google has been steadily adding useful features to ramp up its Friend Connect product, including comment translation, a Social Bar, and integration with Google’s weblog publishing service Blogger.
Here’s a video showing how the gadget works: