Google Ends “Google Friend Connect” For Non-Blogger Sites

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google google+ plus logoSay Bye-Bye To
Google Friend Connect

In an ongoing consolidation of services designed to focus more attention on Google+, the team at Google has announced that they are terminating the Google Friend Connect service for non-Blogger based sites.

Google Friend Connect—Friend Connect allows webmasters to add social features to their sites by embedding a few snippets of code. We’re retiring the service for all non-Blogger sites on March 1, 2012. We encourage affected sites to create a Google+ page and place a Google+ badge on their site so they can bring their community of followers to Google+ and use new features like Circles and Hangouts to keep in touch.

This really isn’t too much of a surprise given that Google Friend Connect has been “abandon-ware” the last couple years with little improvements being made on the service.

Google is in the process of cleaning house and it seems every couple weeks we are seeing notification of certain services being discontinued. This is one of the reasons that I stress always having backups of ALL of your data and not relying on Google for key services such as newsletters.

I’ve also recently installed ThinkUp on my hosting server to give me a backup of all of my tweets, facebook statuses and Google+ posts for the very same reason. I’ll talk more about that software later after I’ve had time to work with it.

I would recommend going ahead and taking the Google Friend Connect widget off of your non-Blogger based sites. The code is likely to get even more unstable than usual in the next few months. Go ahead and set up Google+ Authorship (which I covered pretty extensively in the WordPress SEO 101 course) and Google+ Publishership credentials for your site and add a badge widget to connect everything for your readers.  Also if you haven’t already transitioned to a high quality newsletter an FTC-compliant optin service, check out Aweber for only $1 for your first 30 days, you’ll love them!

Are you running the Google Friend Connect widget on your blog? Do you feel this is a service you will miss? How do you feel this will impact bloggers in general?

Share your thoughts!

Kimberly Castleberry
Taking the Headaches Out of Internet Marketing

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  1. Aanchal says

    I never used “Google Friend Connect” so I’m not going to miss it. But I have seen many blogspot blogs where many people are connected with specific blog.

    I think there should be option that all your “Google Friend Connect” members automatically follow your Google+ page when you create it. So nobody lose anything.

  2. says

    This is one of those obscure services that I never used. Google has a habit of starting new things and running with an experiment. At least it shows their go getter attitude and willingness to try new things.

  3. says

    I was about to install “Google Friend Connect Badge” on my blog, but I think I’ll wait a bit longer now and see what happens.

    The problem with their suggestion about creating a Google+ page and using a Google+ badge is that you can not add people to your circle on a page unless they have added the page first.

    It always gives an error when you try to add people to your circle while you are using a Google page, however it seems fine adding people from your main account.

    This makes it harder for people to discover your page, unless they visit your blog/site manually and happen to see the badge, compare this to your main Google+ account where whenever you add someone they get notified and possibly add you to their circle too thus increasing the amount of people that add you to their circle and giving you a bit of control just like twitter.

    Unless of course there is a way you can add people to your circle through a Google+ page without them having to previously add the page first that I dont know about lol.

    It just always gave me an error when attempting to do that from a page.

    • says

      Hey Sayed, I’m not disagreeing with you here. Like their attempt to remove “share” from Reader that backfired badly… this tool has no true replacement. I don’t understand why they did at least not deeply integrate it rather than gutting it. There are many things that make me go hrrrmmm in some of there changes of late.
      Kim
      PS: Took care of the double post :)

    • says

      Hey Ron, Google+ pages (not profiles) actually have a built in +1 button on them. Its slightly confusing that they have both a +1 AND an “add to circles” option that function differently but both are present. Profiles on the other hand do not have (can not have) a +1 button added to them. Hope that helps!
      Kim

  4. says

    Google improves its quality and number of opportunities day by day. I guess I will use this new possibility and will get some benefits. Thanks a lot for sharing this information

  5. says

    I don’t know that I’ll necessarily miss it for myself, but I do use it as an option for readers to follow me on my blog. I’ll work to move them over to another subscription option, so I’m not too worried. What I don’t understand is how Google+ is an acceptable alternative to GFC. With GFC I didn’t have to do a thing. In Google+ you can’t even auto-post your blog – that’s a huge deal. I’m not going to manually put in every blog post I write. Not when my posts are already automatically going to Facebook, Twitter, Networked Blogs, etc. And I can already get social with my readers on Twitter and Facebook. I’m just not sure what Google+ brings to the table, especially when it causes extra work for me.

    • says

      Blogger is the official name for the “blogspot” blogging platform owned by Google. I know thats confusing, sorry about that. Thank Google for confusing naming. Blogger blogs are not WordPress blogs. Hope that helps.
      Kim

      • says

        I have a blogspot blog. I won’t be affected by this change?
        This is causing quite a stir in our craft blogging world. Everyone’s afraid they are going to lose all their followers.

  6. says

    I haven’t used Google connect since then, but I don’t think that the termination of it would affect anybody. Anyway, I guess Google only proved that this is pretty useless service that’s why they already terminated it.

  7. says

    I have a blogger-blog – so this will not effect me thankfully. I have linked my blog to G+ however and need your G+ badge (where did you get it? :D) I hope you can help me with something else actually – I really want to put the GFC newsletter gadget on my blog but in the design bit, where you can change what is says – I can’t. This wouldn’t bother me too much if what is said in that section was actually what showed up on my blog – instead I get the links I’m to check – not the SIGN UP TO MY NEWSLETTER bit (which shows up in the code mind you?) I don’t understand why this is happening . I thought to move to another newsletter provider (there are others much better, but not linked to my list), but I can’t import my GFC list so I can’t! So annoying and theres no one to help – Don’t suppose you can do so? Shah. X

  8. says

    I’m not sure too many will mind the disappearance of this feature, but I hope you who do use it won’t run into too many problems in the future. Good luck out there!

    • says

      Janneke, you are correct that for the moment, if you have a blogspot blog you are protected. Google makes no promises of that being true in the future and with their tendency to terminate services I really would not count on it being indefinite. Hope that helps!
      Kim

    • says

      Marianne, you are correct. At this time your followers are safe “for now”. There is no promise from Google that they will not finish removing their support from the widget in the future but for now it remains available to blogspot users. I am glad to see them giving you a little more time to transition as they slowly phase out this product.
      Kim

  9. says

    I have a little blog I write for fun (have written it above). It has taken me years to get my followers built up. I THINK the stuff I am reading says this change won’t affect my blog, although maybe I will lose people who follow from non blogger blogs (it’s all getting a bit woolly from here on in). So will my followers list still be there or not? I have looked at it, it’s just a followers widget/gadget, as far as I can see you didn’t get to choose anything when you put it on originally. I don’t really understand when it changed from following to following with GFC. I have no intention of doing anything else, I don’t want to tweet, network, or any of that other nonsense there is enough rubbish coming at me already. I just want to know if I am going to lose my followers in which case I might as well stop now. Help?

    • says

      Cindy, you’re reading correctly. At least for the moment, your connections through GFC are safe. However, honestly, once Google starts backing away from a product it usually does not live more than another year. I really think that is something you should have in mind. GFC has slightly deeper integration into blogger blogs than into our non-blogger/blogspot blogs and so you have a little more reason to benefit from it than I do. I am curious however, what you are using it for exactly. Are you using the actual signin portions of it available to you, or just the widget, or are you also using the built in newsletter tools? I would look at what you’re using it to accomplish (some of those features have already been removed across the board) when trying to decide if there is a useful replacement for you.
      Kim

  10. olga says

    i have lost my gfc!!!can’t I get it back???why other blogs can still use it???and what do you mean with “non-blogger”?

    • says

      Google took GFC away from any blog that was not hosted on “Blogger” (blogspot.com) and in fact the widget is only partially working for those blogs. This is a service that is being terminated and is not returning. I’m sorry for the bad news.
      Kim

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