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April 28, 2010

5 Tips on How To Use Google Sidewiki Efficiently

Google launched Sidewiki on 23rd Sep 2009 as a part of its toolbar. Google Sidewiki appears as a sidebar in the browser and allows visitors to comment on any webpage. Its main aim was to collect useful information on any webpage from people around the world and therefore lead to better user experience.

For example, a person searching for a local restaurant can see its review in the sidebar by the previous diners.

Google Sidewiki comprises of an algorithm which pulls out the most useful and valuable comments from its database. This ensures that a visitor will see the most relevant comments on a webpage. Listed below are 5 steps for using Google Sidewiki efficiently.

  1. Get Started With Google Sidewiki. Sidewiki is available in the options tab of the Google toolbar. Simply download the Google toolbar and select the option to integrate Sidewiki using the checkbox. It appears as a blue sidebar in the browser which slides open when you click on it. Google Sidewiki works perfectly well in Firefox. Although, Google’s own browser, Chrome seems to be having some issues in integrating Sidewiki.
  2. Add Comments on Useful Webpages. Adding comments in Google Sidewiki is extremely easy. You need to log in to your Google account and click on the “Make an Entry” link which appears at the bottom of the sidebar. Enter your comments and publish. It is advised to add something which ads more value to the content. If your comment is relevant to the topic, then it can be placed on the first page of Sidewiki for that web page, unless you are the website owner.
  3. Claim Your Position At The Top Of All Comments. If you want to place your own comment at the top, you need to verify ownership of the website by using Google Webmasters Tool. If verified, as the page owner your entry is placed at the top entry for that page. The top slot can be used to leave a note for anyone who is yet to comment.
  4. Share Your Comments With Everyone. Each comment in Google Sidewiki has the option of being shared on Twitter, Facebook or emailed to any user. This enables everyone to read the Sidewiki entries without using the Google Toolbar. This option is very useful if your web page has received some great comments from visitors. Sharing these comments will pull readers from others streams like Twitter and Facebook onto your website.
  5. Flush Out Negative Comments By Blocking Sidewiki. Google Sidewiki does not provide an option for blocking or deleting negative comments on a webpage. Many users have expressed their displeasure with Google for not providing an option for this purpose. If your web page is inundated with negative or irrelevant comments which are harming your website, you can block Google Sidewiki. This can be done by switching from normal http:// to secure https:// pages.

Google Sidewiki is not the first of its kind. One of the first commenting add-on, Third Voice was launched way back in 1999. AddATweet and Kutano are plug-ins which can be installed on your browser and let you tweet comments on a webpage.

Despite many competitors, Google Sidewiki has risen to become the most popular commenting tool of its time. Start your week by experimenting with this comment tool.

Debbie A. Everson is the CEO of, experienced SEO Consultants and Search Engine Optimization Agency to over 2,000 small businesses. Read my SEO Blog for hints and tips. Follow me on Twitter @searchmar. Call 1.866.885.6263 to speak to one of our SEO Consultants and receive your free consultation.