With the release of Google Chrome, the team responsible for Google's advertising arm at Adsense have been working on ways to integrate its webmaster tools into the browser to creat a complete solution. for the Adsense side of things they came up with the Google Publisher Toolbar, an installable add-on for the Google Chrome browser. The Google Publisher Toolbar will offer you not only the chance to view your Adsense earnings quickly and easily - a must for all webmasters and freelance webmasters; but also prevent you from clicking on your own ads - a breach of Google's terms and conditions.

How to Get the Google Publisher Toolbar

Install Google Chrome

Firstly the Google Publisher Toolbar can only be installed on the Google Chrome web browser. If you are still using Internet Explorer then it might be time to consider a change; apart from risking a "browser war" debate you can obviously run IE (or Firefox, or even Opera) alongside Chrome, but now that I have found the applications Web Store and Angry Birds I am almost converted.

We digress though; the self updating Google Chrome can be downloaded directly from the Google website and is a simple installation. You can also tie it to your Google account during installation as well.

Install Google Publisher Toolbar

Google Publisher Toolbar; download pageYou can install the Google Publisher Toolbar by going into your new Google Chrome browser, going to your apps window (centre-bottom of your browser window) and in the Web Store. Alternatively you can cheat and go direct to it via this link.  
If I remember correctly, you will have to offer an administrators password if your Operating System need it and you are on a "general user" Windows account. 
At this point you must now be logged into your Google account in order for it to work. A recent update has meant that when you are logged into Google then you can not log into the Google Publisher Toolbar under a different address. A recent update to the Google Publisher Toolbar has meant that it improves the management of its cache, I wonder if this is partly how they have done it.

Accessing You Google Publisher Toolbar

Google Publisher Toolbar; Pop UpCredit: Google Chrome Web StoreAccess to the information panel is via an icon on the top right of your Google Chrome web browser. The icon is a small blue box shown in the image left and is a screenshot of the top right hand corner of the web browser window. Clicking on the blue icon will bring down a pop-up window, but navigating away or around the webpage displayed will automatically close it.

At the bottom of this pop up is a "Help and Options" link, this will take you to your Google Publisher Toolbar settings.

There are many options that are available to you but as far as I can tell there is no facility at this time to view multiple accounts, which is advertised on the help page but not indicated on the "Google Multiple Accounts" app list.

The Ad Overlay - Preventing You Clicking Your Own Ads

Something that will help webmasters is the Ad Overlay. If you have a range of web domains or you view your crowdsourcing articles to answer comments; you will probably already be aware how easy it can see to click on one of your own Google Ads without thinking about it. This is breaching the Google Terms and Conditions and can lead to the suspension of your Google Ads account. 

You will have already noticed if you use Google Publisher Toolbar that on your own articles a small black band appears at the top of the webpage asking you to "enable overlays". 

Google Publisher Toolbar; Ad Overlay Prompt
The Google Publisher Toolbar settings we talked about earlier includes to feature to add URLs that you want to activate this for. If you are writing on crowdsourcing sites such as Infobarrel then  it will only enable this feature on your own articles - a bit of wizardry linked to your Adsense Publishers ID - so you will still see advertising on the articles published by other authors.
When active, the ad overlay can show you information about that specific ad; its type, size and even earnings; something already offered by Google Analytics but obviously that bit easier thanks to the Google technology. While this is active, Google Chrome prevents you clicking your own ads, something which I for one will find exceptionally beneficial as I quite often find ads I like on my own articles and web pages.

As I understand it as well, if you are uising a "revenue-sharing" site such as Infobarrel, when your article is showing with the adverts of another user (such as Infobarrel or the user whos referal link you sign up with) then you will not see the overlay and can click through the links as normal. 

and that's your Google Publisher Toolbar

The Google Publisher Toolbar is a simple gadget that might makes life a bit quicker for some and a Google T&C saver for others. Its not a feature packed piece of kit and it is not designed to be. Personally I think that it was one of those gadgets that a Google employee though would just tempt a few more users over to Chrome, tucked in between the browser version of Angry Birds and Google Docs.
What are YOUR thoughts on the Google publisher Toolbar?