Widgetbox offers free analytics for widgets

Widgetbox, a company that helps businesses like eBay, Yahoo and scores of Web start-ups offer their widgets to other companies at a central site, has added free analystics.

Some people are calling 2007 the year of the widget. Widgets are exploding in popularity. A widget is, in its most basic form, a box from a third-party that sits on your site. They can showcase a game, weather, ads or other content. eBay lets sellers carry an eBay widget on their blogs to better communicate with buyers. MySpace members can use widgets on their profile to show off the photos they take on the road.

Widgetbox facilitates widget use, offering widgets from a hundred providers; we wrote about the company here. Increasingly, widget users and designers say they want performance information on widgets. Some people use widgets just like advertising, and so the analytics offered by Widgetbox is not much different from the analytics already offered to advertisers. But the move underscores how mainstream widget use has become.

Developers can do things like gauge their biggest and most influential users, said chief executive Ed Anuff. They can track subscriptions (when a person clicks on “get widget”), hits (when a person views a web page containing the widget), referrals and conversions (when a person actually subscribes).

Here’s a summary. .

Anuff said eBay is a good example of how Widgetbox hopes to make money. When eBay sellers use Widgetbox to take an eBay widget for use on their blog, Widgetbox takes the status of “master affiliate,” and make on the order of seven percentage points on any transaction that takes place (Anuff wouldn’t give an exact number for his eBay relationship, but seven percent is an example of the market rate for this sort of thing).