How to Claim Your Website’s Google Sidewiki

Update: The Google Sidewiki project has been discontinued.

As you may have heard, Google has recently introduced Google Sidewiki, as an add-on to the Google Toolbar. Google’s Sidewiki is an option that allows anyone to make comments on any website, and those comments can be seen by anyone who has the Google Toolbar with Sidewiki installed (and running) in their web browser. It is important to know that as a website owner you can claim your Google Sidewiki space: and it will always appear on top of the comments. Here is how to claim your website’s Google Sidewiki.

Why Claim Your Google Sidewiki

I think it is very important to claim your website’s Google Sidewiki as the website owner because the comments you make are going to be displayed at the top of the list of comments. You can use this space to advertise your website, talk to your users, and generally tell them about what they will find on your website: and by doing this you can point out useful features or just give them a kind “hello” and a “thanks for visiting” type of comment. Certainly you can also use this as a way to point them to your blog’s RSS feed (to get more subscribers) or even remind them to “follow you on Twitter” if that’s what you would like them to do. There will be visitors who do not have the Google Toolbar and Google Sidewiki installed, and it will really vary depending on the type of website you have. But, in any case, you should claim your space and make sure that you take advantage of this opportunity.

How to Claim Your Website’s Google Sidewiki

There are several steps to staking your claim, but it really is not very difficult. And to make it easier on you, I have already written a few examples of the text that you might want to put in there. Here is what you need to do:

NOTE: Before you even start this make sure that you’re the site owner. With Google, make sure that you have verified your site with Google Webmaster Tools.

1. Install the latest Google Toolbar with Google Sidewiki.

2. Once installed, you will need to restart your web browser. I use Firefox, so you will probably get a message telling you that you need to restart Firefox.

3. Visit your website, the website home page where you want to claim your Google Sidewiki.

4. Make sure that Google Sidewiki is turned on in the Google Toolbar. You may need to log in to your Google account and adjust your Google Toobar settings so that it’s turned on. While you browse the web, you will see the Google Wiki sidebar on the left side of your web browser, it will look like this:

Google Sidewiki in Browser Sidebar

5. Open up the Google Sidewiki. If you aren’t signed into your Google Account, you need to sign into your Google account first.

6. Once signed in, you will see the name of your site, as well as an area to “Edit your name” – Change the name of your website if necessary, you might want to include your company name and a few keywords if you feel so inclined to do so.

google-sidewiki-2

7. Add a title of the Entry, perhaps “Welcome to Vizion Interative“.

google-sidewiki-3

8. Add your entry. I’ve added samples below:

Thanks for visiting Vizion Interactive. If you’re reading this, then you have the Google Sidewiki turned on in your Google Toolbar.Vizion Interactive, Inc. is a search engine optimization, search engine marketing, website design, Interactive marketing, and social media marketing agency dedicated to empowering clients to make informed decisions that deliver measurable results. Vizion Interactive’s headquarters are in Dallas, Texas with regional offices in Overland Park, Kansas and Clearwater Beach, Florida.

We also have a blog on our site, where we write about the latest innovations and issues related to Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Marketing, Social Media Marketing, and marketing your business online. If you’re interested in any of those topics, you might want to subscribe to our RSS Feed, which is at http://www.vizioninteractive.com/feed/ Of course, if you ever have any questions about any of these issues, feel free to contact us.

Here is another possible entry, which might be helpful if your website is a blog and you want to get more subscribers to your blog:

Thanks for visiting my site. If you’re reading this, then most likely you have the Google Sidewiki turned on.

My blog here is where I write about search engine, online marketing, and other interesting online issues. If you’re interested in any of these issues, you might want to subscribe to my RSS Feed, which is at http://www.vizioninterative.com/feed/

Thanks for visiting our website. Feel free to browse around to see our products. If you have any questions, feel free to use the contact form or call us at 1-888-484-9466.

8. Finalize. Once you’ve entered the text you want and the title of the entry, click the “Write as Owner” checkbox, and hit the “Publish” button.

google-sidewiki-4

You are now done claiming your Google Sidewiki as the site owner. That’s it! It’s pretty simple, keep in mind that as long as you’re logged in you can go back and edit it or delete it later on.

I have also added a short video that shows you how to claim your website’s Google Sidewiki:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vadOVUoHKE[/youtube]

  • http://www.SEO-writer.com David Leonhardt

    Great write-up. A lot of people are going to want to do this…especially when the first wave of competition "bombs" are dropped.

  • http://www.vizioninteractive.com Bill Hartzer

    Thanks, David. I totally agree, it is important to claim your website's Google Sidewiki, especially if you can get a long "comment" in there.

    I don't know how many people will actually have this turned on and will use it, but certainly it's another place where you, as a website owner, should stake your claim.

  • Monica

    I did not get the "Write as Owner" checkbox. Does your site have to be associated in any way to Google for that to work?

  • http://www.vizioninteractive.com Bill Hartzer

    Hi Monica,

    In order for it to work properly, the site that you're trying to add the comment for needs to be verified in Google Webmaster Tools. That way Google knows that you're the website owner. Otherwise, you would be able to 'claim ownership' on other people's websites.

  • http://mikecampbellcpa.us Mike Campbell

    Great advice. It was simple to do, after getting webmaster tools. That took a little Googling. I finally found the right keywords "page owner sidewiki" and found this page: http://www.google.com/support/toolbar/bin/answer…..

    Just follow these steps. After verifying my web site, I had to close close and reopen my browser to clear it out. Then the check box for page owner was available.

  • http://www.vinylshrine.co.uk John Hodgson

    Bill, I have the same problem as Monica, I have done an entry, but it doesn't give me the option of claiming ownership.

    How do you get a site verified?

  • http://www.vizioninteractive.com Bill Hartzer

    Hi John,

    What you'll need to do first is verify your website in Google Webmaster Tools (http://www.google.com/webmasters). You'll need a Google Account. Log into your Google Webmaster Tools account and add the site.

    Then to verify the site you'll need to add a file that Google specifies or an HTML Meta Tag to your site. Once one of those are added, then you log into Google Webmaster Tools and click on "verify".

    Once it's verified in Google Webmaster Tools and you have the new Google Toolbar installed, you will need to go to your site's home page. Click on the Sidewiki on the Toolbar and you should then see the "write as owner" area.

  • http://forex-trading-systems-4-you.com Ant

    Bill,

    Interesting post, but as the comment in the sidewiki on this page points out, each claim appears to be only one page … also on the site I first read your article (searchnewz) the only sidewiki comment was already a spam comment …

    Although your post does at least show us how to claim some of our page estate, I still can't help but think this is a bad idea by the G, and I really do hope they get rid of it.

    My 2c. But thanks for the post.

    Ant

  • S.J. Mitchell

    Many businesses are still safe as Sidewiki does not work on secure sites. You can see this information here:
    http://www.google.com/support/toolbar/bin/answer….

    It states in the troubleshooting guide:

    “Sidewiki currently does not support comments over internal or SSL (https) encrypted pages.”

    While businesses would be wise to monitor sidewiki comments across the web, their websites are safe from customer comments for now.

  • Nick

    The whole webmaster tools thing would have been handy to have in the origianl instructions

  • http://ariwriter.com Ari Herzog

    Thanks for the tip! I previously had a Google profile set up, but hadn't realized (as a Sidewiki newbie) I could claim sites too.

  • http://www.demonzmedia.com Aaron Newton (Demonz

    Great introduction to Google SideWiki.

    Google's search/social platform is becoming increasingly complex, and the relationship between Google Accounts / domain verified Google Accounts is quite confusing.

  • http://www.nexxar.com Thomas Rosenmayr

    Great manual Bill, thats very useful!

    For me Sidewiki has the potential to bring back conversation to where the content is displayed. Wondering how this will affect twitter and alikes?

  • http://dr1665.com Brian Driggs

    This is the first time I've not been excited about a new Google product, but also the first time I've been annoyed. Seriously. WTH?

    Wave is going to let us update conversations in multiple locations all over the web and completely revolutionize the internet experience, but for now, we're all scurrying about, trying to CYA with this Sidewiki spam real estate. Frustrating.

    I don't know how I could be doing this wrong, but I must be. I've got four domains, all verified with Google, I'm signed in, I've edited my name, I've installed the ridiculous toolbar, and STILL there is no option to post as owner on any of my sites.

    What do you do when you unlock the door, turn the knob, and pull, but the door still doesn't open? Push, I guess.

    Dunno. Hopefully someone here sees the glaring mistake I've been making so I can claim my sites and forget about this nonsense for a while. :)

  • http://blog.zene.ca Jonathan Lin

    There is a major flaw. Say I want to claim my own twitter page. I cannot do it because the meta tags are controlled by twitter. What if I want to claim my own facebook profile? I can't do that either.

    For the majority of people, their twitter page and their facebook profile is about as close to a "web page that they control" as you can get.

    It's a big defect, I think.

  • http://wahmbizbuilder.com Melinda

    I've installed the toolbar, my site is claimed in the Webmaster tools and has been for ages, yet I still can't "Write as Owner".

    Not happy.

  • http://affiliatescams.wurdmess.com Jill Carpenter

    I have no desire to be a part of Googles sidewiki. For anyone looking who can't afford to pay for the SSL on all you websites, there is a great little sidewiki blocker script floating around. It will keep comments from appearing on your site although it can't stop them from being created and showing in the serps ;(

  • http://www.foxleymarketingsolutions.com Karl Foxley

    Great info on claiming the Sidewiki for site owners.

    I see the potential of the Sidewiki being seriously abused, I've already been emailed by marketers with subject lines that say 'drop your URLs all over the web using Google's Sidewiki'…

    I'll be watching the development of this one closely.

    Karl

  • Evan Adelman

    not that i want to be the grammar police, but should fix your typo in your sidewiki – should read:

    …turned on in your Google Toolbar….instead of …you Google Toolbar…

    or should have i posted that in the sidewiki? or on twitter? or should have emailed you? or maybe sent you a facebook message?

    I sort of get what Google is trying to do – it's a massive grab for owning conversations under the guise of making it easier for people to communicate & converse, but it seems to me they (Google) get a lot more out of the equation than us (normal users of the web)

  • Mark Badaracco

    This article is inacurate. There is no "Write as Owner" I am the owner of the site using Google's Webmaster tools. Please revise.

  • http://www.surveysoftwareonline.com Shawn

    Excellent info as always. I'm getting started now.

  • http://blog.fcon21.biz/273/ John W. Furst

    Actually I do not want to setup a public profile for my Google Account which I use for AdWords, AdSense, and Webmaster's Tool.

    Any idea's.

    Can I additionally claim the site in a different G.Account?

    Yours

    John

  • http://btoone.com J.E.F

    Ample thanks for your explanation and directions to sidewiki set

    excellent work

    Cheers

    J.F.F

  • http://www.wooster.edu College of Wooster

    I too am having issues even after I've verified my website with Google Webmaster tools. I still can't "Write as owner". Looks like lots of us are in the same boat. Any clues?

  • http://www.fabofindz.com Katrina Gibson

    I am trying to create a webmaster sidewiki for my client's account site click for a site owner. I do however see it on the site that I own (katrinagibson.com), so I'm wondering if it is possible for me to create a sidewiki for my client's site since I am only the webmaster?

  • http://www.fabofindz.com Katrina Gibson

    Sorry the last note got sent too soon:

    I am trying to create a webmaster sidewiki for my client’s account but there is no button to "click for a site owner." I do however see it on the site that I own (katrinagibson.com), so I’m wondering if it is possible for me to create a sidewiki for my client’s site since I am only the webmaster?

  • http://www.vizioninteractive.com Bill Hartzer

    Katrina, most likely you are not seeing the site owner option because you first need to verify the site in Google Webmaster Tools and be logged into your Google Account.

  • http://patriceleroux.blogspot.com/ Patrice Leroux

    Thanks Bill. I had seen a Sidewiki "first owner entry" before but was scratching my head on how to do it until I got to your clear DIY explanations. Great stuff !

    Happy that it worked on my blog especially through the Google Webmaster Tools. Copied and pasted the validity code given by Google somewhere before the tag in my main blog parameters and voilà !

    Thanks again !

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  • http://www.vinyllettering.com.au/ vinyl letters

    Ample thanks for your explanation and directions to sidewiki set

    excellent work.

  • http://www.womenuniverse.com shaalim

    Thanx for sharing such a valueable information, I am thinking in a few years sidewiki will be the famous like comments system & people would think it is necessary to use sidewiki for site promotions.

  • http://curtezriggs.com Curtez

    Good info, I just downloaded the tool bar and made this discovery. My next action was to google, webmaster comments and came across this post. I must say ty for the information, and I will be using a variaton of the comment that you listed above for my blogs.

    Ty

  • http://www.sdrealtypros.com/ Diego

    Question about the "Edit Your Name" option in Google's sidewiki. Webmaster tools says to leave your real name in order to qualify to have your profile listed. But the business name or search terms would probably be better for SEO purposes, yes? What is the general opinion about how to proceed with the name game?

  • http://www.replica-hermes.com replica hermes

    ???????????????Sidewiki????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????

  • rose

    i HATe google sidewiki-how do i get rid of it!?????