Newsweek's Brian Braiker recently wrote a piece claiming 2007 as the "Year of the Widget." Riding the coattails of social media sites such as MySpace and personalized home pages popular with Google and Yahoo users, widgets are beginning to change the way users surf the Internet. Users can visit one page and have a variety of information presented to them that, in the past, would require visits to several different pages. While this seemingly diminshes the importance of page view rankings, advertisers have jumped on the opportunity to brand themselves on user home pages and websites.
But one of the key components of widgets is in making your website a destination and a resource. For instance, if you run a travel site, it would be a good idea to include a widget on your page offering weather information or traffic updates. If executed properly, a user will find your page as a one-stop shop for their travel needs. Of course, the more page visits you can glean and the longer a user is on your site, the odds are better that your site flourishes.
Yahoo and Google offer a wide variety of widgets to explore and information about widgets and their capabilities. Two others to check out are Widgipedia and Snipperoo.