Google today launched a plug-in for self-hosted WordPress blogs in public beta that makes adding AdSense ads to websites easier and makes verifying a site with Webmaster Tools a single-click process.
Given that WordPress now powers more than 20 percent of websites, it’s no surprise that Google has decided to take WordPress very seriously. Despite its legacy as a blogging platform, WordPress is mostly used as a content management system that, thanks to its extensibility, can cater to virtually every need.
While it seems like Google is planning to add more functionality to the plug-in over time, the current version is still pretty limited. Besides the Webmaster Tools verification (which saves you the usual steps of copying and pasting code snippets into your WordPress templates), it only offers the ability to easily place ads on your site.
With so many WordPress websites on the market, the company clearly wants to make sure its main source of income is available on as many of these as possible. Given the wide variety of WordPress templates, however, chances are this won’t work with every site. Google acknowledges as much and says that it is “still fine-tuning the plugin to make sure it works well on the many WordPress sites out there.”
To get started with this tool, all users have to open the plug-in and then select if they want to see a preview of their site’s homepage, or of a single page or post. Google automatically places markers on the screen for spots where ads would fit, and all a user has to do is select one of these spots to start service ads there.
The service currently supports four ad formats: automatic (which chooses the most appropriate size), horizontal banner (728 90), vertical banner (160 600) and rectangle (300 250).