An unofficial blog that watches Google's attempts to move your operating system online since 2005. Not affiliated with Google.

Send your tips to

February 23, 2007

Google AJAX Gadgets for News and Video Search

If you want to monitor the latest news about global warming, Google or your favorite basketball team, there's a newsbar gadget for the Personalized Homepage that shows the headlines at the top of the page and news snippets in the gadget container.

There's also a videobar that shows the top 8 search results from Google Video and YouTube for a list of queries. You could include a list of your favorite artists, TV shows or video series (like Google Techtalks) and the videos are always accessible from your personalized homepage (unless, of course, they are removed by the content providers).

These gadgets, but also Google mini search (that lets you search Google without leaving the page) and Google Map search were implemented using Google AJAX Search API. The API lets you build controls and gadgets centered around search, even if this isn't obvious.

Google tried to repeat the success of the Maps API. "We felt that the Maps API was successful because it was very easy to use, and very easy to explain, where you could show somebody a piece of HTML with some JavaScript, and most anybody could get a map on a webpage very quickly, and have some good eye candy, and some good utility by adding that to their page. What I was interested in is that Google is known for search, and we have search across a wide variety of backends. Could we make search as easy to integrate, and as useful, as we have done with Maps?" explains Mark Lucovsky from Google.

They build different solutions that could be just copy-pasted on a site and also these gadgets for Google Personalized Homepage. And because they use AJAX, you can search and see the search results on the same page that contains the gadgets.


  1. They are great tools, but only problem I have with Google Home page it takes too much time to download and also it doesn't have a clean interface like PageFlakes and NetVibes. Any idea Google will improve its interface soon?

  2. OK, how do I remove that videobar now ?!

  3. Like you remove any other gadget or feed from your personalized homepage. Click on the "X" next to the the title bar of the gadget (in this case the gadget is "Video bar"). Unlike most other gadgets, this one expands beyond its container to show the thumbnails.

  4. Thanks, I saw it now 8) It was right below the clips but I think before it may have been more towards the bottom, mixed with the clutter.