No self-respecting site or service can be without a widget these days it seems. A ‘widget’ is a suitably loose catchall that is now so pervasive that it has achieved the true Web 2.0 cachet of being ‘mashed’ into new service names, such as Nokia’s WidSets for mobile phones.

Little surprise then that Google has continued the move to the wild world web by making its desktop and in-house widgets available for use outside the Google family. The full list of currently more than 1200 widgets can be found here, although Google adds a ‘don’t shoot the messenger’ note about the open source origins of its widgets:

“Much of the content in this directory was developed by other companies or by Google’s users, not by Google. Google makes no promises or representations about its performance, quality, or content.”

So, let’s see one in action below and what better one to decide who is king of the widgets than GoogleFight – for example try typing in ‘Google widgets’ vs. ‘Yahoo widgets’.

They are certainly easy to use bar the odd sizing grumble and just require the addition of some script to your HTML code, no big ask for the networked generation. Expect to see much more of this over the coming year.