Google offers so much more than just search and email with services like sharing calendars, user management, webmaster tools, analytics, amazing file sharing with collaboration…the list goes on and on.
Google also prides itself on making much of its code open source (except for the search algorithm, of course), and allowing access to its massive API, which lets developers create applications to bring all that googlie goodness to other platforms.
And now WPMU.org brings it directly to you with our list of the top 30 plugins that add Google functionality to WordPress. The plugins are listed in no particular order, but are separated into categories to make for easier browsing.
Badges and Social Sharing
The following plugins allow you to display a badge on your blog showing off your circles and allowing people to circle you on the Google + social network. They also allow you to share posts and pages via that network with Google’s own “+1.”
The Google + Plugin
WPMUdev.org was one of the first plugin developers to put together a plus one sharing box and this one is impressive. It is cross-browser functional, can show or hide +1 counters, allows editing of the button and badge size, and where it shows up, and also works with BuddyPress and WP Multisite.
Google Page Rank
If you are working with advertisers or are trying to solicit free goodies from corporations, like with review sites, the Google Page Rank plugin is a must. This plugin will display your Google Page Rank in a badge on your site and let advertisers know just how much traffic your site gets.
Add your Google + profile badge to a widget on your WordPress website. Includes a graphical display of your +1’s and a button for people to add you to their circles.
WordPress Social Login
This handy plugin allows visitors of your site the ability to login and comment on your blog using any one of 20 social networks, including Google, Facebook, Twitter, and even some of the more obscure social sites.
Images, Icons, and Gravatars
The following plugins bring google’s image functionality to your WordPress blog, including displaying favicons, Picasa photo galleries, and more.
Google Plus Favicon
If you use Google + and have a profile picture there you can use that profile picture as your website avatar and Favicon. This is a great piece of functionality for personal bloggers, and an even better way to make your image consistent across platforms.
Gravatar Google Image
This is a really fun plugin which adds som cool image functionality to your website. When comment areas include images, like Gravatars, it makes the blog more interactive and adds another level of professionalism. When someone enters his or her name and email address (a requirement to post a comment on most blogs) this plugin goes out and searches by that information and adds the first relevant picture it finds from Google search results. But it doesn’t stop there. It also emails the commenter and lets them know the picture that has been chosen for them and gives them the ability to remove that image or to use it permanently through Gravatar, where it will also show up in other sites across the web.
Google Picasa Viewer
Add your Picasa pictures and photo galleries to WordPress in pages, posts, and even as a widget with this plugin.
As a side note, if you’d like to display your Google + pictures in a cool jQuery slide show in WordPress, checkout this article posted on this site recently.
Video and Audio
YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world and it’s time you brought some of that functionality to your site. While recent upgrades of WordPress allow auto embedding of YouTube videos, the site still lacks functionality for video galleries. But the following plugins pick up the slack and allow you to embed entire channels or playlists of YouTube videos into your WP powered website.
This plugin allows you to plugin virtually everything from your YouTube page into your WordPress blog, including playlists, favorites, most-viewed for a time period, and more. It allows customization of the player window, setting the number of videos that display per page, whether or not related videos play at the end, and the type of information that shows up next to the video or video thumbnail. Offered in both free and premium versions.
YouTube Simple Gallery
This easy to use plugin allows you to embed multiple YouTube videos and galleries into your WordPress pages and posts with short codes.
CodeArt Google MP3 Player
There are many MP3 players on the WordPress repository, but few that tap into Google’s own lightweight MP3 player. CodeArt’s plugin does just that. If you use Google Voice you are familiar with the mp3 interface, and this works in a similar fashion, complete with a button to add audio in your video post editor. Great for showcasing podcasts on your blog.
Maps and Location
Displaying a map of or directions to your office personalizes your site and makes it easy for visitors and customers to find your services and products. Google maps also look cool, and sometimes that’s the only reason you need to use one of these plugins:
Quickly and easily add Google Maps to any post or page in WordPress, with ability to tap into street view, and also custom CSS to make your map unique. Includes an advanced settings page to fine-tune the display, and custom field options to interact with Google’s geolocation plugin. This is an amazingly clean and functional map plugin.
Convert Address To Google Maps Link
If you find yourself using the “address” formatting in the visual post editor of WordPress in an attempt to make your addresses stand out on the page then you’re going to love this plugin which turns all your addresses into links for Google Maps.
This great plugin brings the full functionality of Google Maps to your WordPress installation, with 250 custom marker icons, help tooltips, driving and walking directions, info windows, shortcode usage, and configuration for KML files. It is widget enabled, and users can use it to get directions to any of the places you have marked on the map.
Google Documents made cloud word processing a reality, and then later made collaboration and document sharing standard. These plugins allow you tap the power of the cloud for document creation, display, sharing, security and storage of Google Docs and Google Drive.
Google Drive for WordPress
Use this plugin to make backups of your WordPress files and database. They can be stored locally and on Google Drive. For installation instructions, checkout this WordPress backup tutorialusing Google Drive.
Google Doc Embedder
This plugin allows you to embed dozens of document file types into your WordPress posts and pages using the Google Docs viewer. It allows for inline viewing and gives your visitors the option to download the documents as well. Doesn’t require flash or pdf plugins and works with major file types like PDF, Word doc and docx, Powerpoint, Photoshop PSD, archive zip and rar, and many more.
If you want to turn your WordPress site into a service like Scribd or Screenshare, this plugin will get you there.
WordPress Google Form
This plugin uses a shortcode to fetch a Google form and displays it on your site without the need to make people link away to Google. Allows custom CSS to make your form unique, and fits any WordPress post or Page.
Advertising with Adsense
Google Adsense is still one of the best ways to monetize your blog. You can also checkout another one of our articles for a more thorough listing of ways to add advertising to your blog.
Easily add your adsense content to your site in header, footer, pages, posts, or widgets.
Google Adsense Plugin
Highly customizable plugin to add Adsense to your blog. Change colors, size, and position of ad blocks throughout your site and make the ad placement unique.
Analytics and Authoriship
Google Analytics is the most powerful analytics solution. Period. Most premium analytics programs can’t touch the breadth and depth of metrics offered by GA, and thankfully, there are a few great plugins to bring that functionality to WP.
This plugin brings Google Analytics to your Multisite installation by allowing bloggers the ability to simply insert their own analytics code to track performance. But what’s different about this plugin is it also allow the site admin to enter his or her own Google analytics code and track performance of the entire multisite network.
Google Analytics Dashboard
Bring the power of Google Analytics right to your WordPress dashboard with this plugin. Instead of logging into and out of GA directly, this plugin brings the GA stats into a WordPress admin panel, where you can view base and extended stats, top searches and referrers, and even sparklines right in your post and page management screens – for a quick view of which posts draw the most traffic.
Google XML Sitemaps
This is one of the original sitemap plugins and it has been downloaded more than 8 million times. With the click of one button this plugin will create the all-important Google sitemap for your website and make it easier for web crawlers to find and analyze your pages.
Google Site Verification Plugin
Some Google services require you to verify that you own the blog in question before being able to actually use the services. There are several ways to do this including hard coding script into your theme and uploading a file to your site via FTP. For newbie users neither one of these methods is intuitive, or easy to do. But the Google site verification plugin adds the necessary code for you and authenticates your site in just a few clicks.
Google’s addition of the G+ social network also brings authorship to the google search results pages with your mug shot and profile link showing up right next to the articles you’ve authored.
Google Authorship Widget
To get your photo up in search results next to the articles you write Google requires you to link your G+ profile to your blog, and then add some code to meta tags within each article (or sitewide). Those without coding experience are going to have a problem with this method. And that’s where the authorship Widget plugin really helps. With just a few clicks, you can add your G+ profile information and the plugin does the rest. After a day or two you should automatically see your picture popping up in search. It’s a great way to increase click-through rates to your articles and generate a solid fan following.
The ability to create and manage events are some of the most often requested features for new blog creators. Plugins that allow this functionality are in high demand, and the two featured below bring Google’s calendar event options to WordPress.
Google Calendar Event
This plugin places Google Calendar feeds into your site, and displays events as a calendar grid on any post or page. It also works as a widget, and features a customized admin panel with advanced settings control.
Stout Google Calender
This plugin allows for a highly customized version of Google calendar right in your WordPress site. Can also be plugged into pages, posts, and widgets. For installation tutorials.
Other Cool Google WordPress Plugins
These plugins have too much goodness to contain in just one category. They include search, scripts, fonts, and WordPress Multisite.
WP Google Fonts
Use the free Google fonts directory to bring hundreds of custom fonts to your WordPress website. You can use these fonts in posts, pages, and anywhere you can edit CSS…even assign fonts to visual post editor paragraph formatting elements.
FD Feeburner Plugin
This plugin redirects the main feed of your site, and the comments (optionally), without needing to modify your theme templates, setup a new feed, or touch your htaccess file.
WP Google Alerts
If you are into social media monitoring or like to track mentions of specific keywords this plugin is perfect. It gives you the ability to add your google alerts directly into your WordPress dashboard.
Custom Google Search
Add a custom Google Search box to your site and improve your built-in search functionality. Allows custom styling to make your search box match your site design perfectly, and a settings panel to customize the way your search bar works. You can choose whether to display the results in a search page, as a pop up, or even in the sidebar. A great way to keep visitors on your site, and give them the ability to find items on your blog and on the blogs of others.