Reporting Basics

Reporting of performance data is an integral part of most AdWords API applications. With the API's flexible reporting options, you can obtain a report with performance data for an entire campaign, or focus more narrowly, for example, on the search queries that triggered your ad.

This guide describes the steps necessary to create and submit a report request to the AdWords server. It then describes some more advanced reporting concepts like data segementation, data formats, and attribution.

For a complete list of all the available report types in the AdWords API, see the Report Types reference pages.


There are two main steps to generate reports from the API:

  1. Create a report definition. The report definition is an XML or AWQL fragment that defines the parameters of your report, including the report name, the types of information to include in the report, the download format, and other details.
  2. Enclose the report definition in an HTTP POST request, and submit it to the AdWords server.

Both of these steps are described below.

Create a report definition

The report definition constitutes the body of the request, where you specify the elements to include in the report.

You can create report definitions in XML or in AWQL, the AdWords Query Language.

The sections below cover XML-based report definitions. Check out the reporting section of the AWQL guide if you'd prefer to use AWQL instead of XML.

Below is an example of an XML report definition. The table below it defines each element in the report definition.


<reportDefinition xmlns="">
  <reportName>Custom Adgroup Performance Report</reportName>


SELECT CampaignId, AdGroupId, Impressions, Clicks, Cost
Report Definition Element Description
<reportDefinition> This is the report definition header. Use the same URL shown in the request, ensuring the correct version of the API is listed.
<selector> The selector section contains a list of fields for the data elements you want to select and include in your report. See the Report Types page for more information about the values possible here. Note the field list available depends on the reportType specified.

You can also use the ReportDefinitionService.getReportFields() method to obtain the list of available fields programmatically.

<predicates> Predicates are equivalent to filters in the AdWords user interface. A predicate is comprised of a report field, operators, and values. Predicates are treated as inclusive (AND) conditions.
<reportType> Indicates the type of report you are requesting. See the Reports Types pages for more information and the complete list of report types.
<dateRangeType> The date range your report should encompass. See Date ranges below for more information.
<downloadFormat> The format in which you want to download the report. See Download formats below for more information.

XML schema definition

An XML Schema Definition (XSD) defining the structure of the reportDefinition is published at the following URL:

Both application/x-www-form-urlencoded and multipart/form-data Content-Types are supported; for the former, you would need to URL-encode the submitted XML.

Date ranges

To specify the report's date range, use a ReportDefinition.DateRangeType from the report definition XSD.

Valid DateRange Types Reports are generated for...
TODAY Today only.
YESTERDAY Yesterday only.
LAST_7_DAYS The last 7 days not including today.
LAST_WEEK The seven-day period starting with previous Monday.
LAST_BUSINESS_WEEK The 5 day business week, Monday through Friday, of the previous business week.
THIS_MONTH All days in the current month.
LAST_MONTH All days in the previous month.
ALL_TIME The entire available time range.
CUSTOM_DATE A custom date range. See Custom date ranges below for more information.
LAST_14_DAYS The last 14 days not including today.
LAST_30_DAYS The last 30 days not including today.
THIS_WEEK_SUN_TODAY The period between the previous Sunday and the current day.
THIS_WEEK_MON_TODAY The period between the previous Monday and the current day.
LAST_WEEK_SUN_SAT The seven-day period starting with the previous Sunday.

For every ReportDefinition.DateRangeType except CUSTOM_DATE, only the dateRangeType is required.

<reportDefinition xmlns="">

Custom date ranges

If you want a custom date range, then you must:

  1. Specify CUSTOM_DATE for the dateRangeType.
  2. Include a dateRange with min and max in YYYYMMDD format on your selector.


<reportDefinition xmlns="">


DURING 20150201,20150301

Data freshness

Some statistics that go into your reports may be calculated continuously, while others may be calculated once a day. This is one aspect of how data freshness works in AdWords. To use reporting effectively, see the data freshness documentation.

Prepare the request

Once your report definition is created, you can now prepare the HTTP POST request.

You can make plain synchronous HTTP requests directly to the AdWords server, an approach whose low overhead makes it suitable for high-volume reporting, especially when implemented using multiple threads (we recommend starting with 10). The HTTP request is synchronous because the call effectively blocks until the report data is ready to download.

You'll probably reach the Queries Per Second (QPS) limit (RateExceededError) before you exceed the number of open connections allowed on the server. Reporting requests do not count toward the daily operations quota, but there is a report downloads-per-day limit.

For an XML report definition, the POST request body must contain a parameter named "__rdxml" whose value is your XML report definition.

Request headers

Use the normal HTTP header values when downloading reports:

HTTP header Description
Authorization: Bearer OAUTH2_ACCESS_TOKEN Authorization to download the report. Use the same accessToken that's used for the SOAP request header.
developerToken: DEVELOPER_TOKEN Your developer token consisting of a unique string, for example, 1a2B3c4D5e_-6v7w8x9y0z.
clientCustomerId: CLIENT_CUSTOMER_ID Customer ID of the client account.

You can specify the following optional HTTP headers to control whether your report includes a header or summary row:

Optional HTTP Header Description
skipReportHeader: true|false If true, report output will not include a header row containing the report name and date range. If false or not specified, report output will include the header row.
skipColumnHeader: true|false If true, report output will not include a header row containing field names. If false or not specified, report output will include the field names.
skipReportSummary: true|false If true, report output will not include a summary row containing the report totals. If false or not specified, report output will include the summary row.
useRawEnumValues: true|false Set to true if you want the returned format to be the actual enum value, for example, "IMAGE_AD" instead of "Image ad". Set to false or omit this header if you want the returned format to be the display value.
includeZeroImpressions: true|false If true, report output will include rows where all specified metric fields are zero, provided the requested fields and predicates support zero impressions. If false, report output will not include such rows. Thus, even if this header is false and the Impressions of a row is zero, the row is still returned in case any of the specified metric fields have non-zero values. If omitted, the report will use the default behavior described in the Zero Impressions guide.

HTTP request URL

The request consists of an HTTP POST to the AdWords server at the following URL:

Complete example

Here is a complete example showing the report definition above enclosed within an HTTP POST request.


POST /api/adwords/reportdownload/v201609 HTTP/1.1
User-Agent: curl, gzip
Accept: /
Accept-Encoding: gzip
Authorization: Bearer [Enter OAuth 2.0 access token here]
developerToken: [Enter developerToken here]
clientCustomerId: [Enter clientCustomerID here]
Content-Length: 784
Expect: 100-continue
Content-Type: multipart/form-data; boundary=------------------------12d01fae60c7b559
__rdxml: &lt;?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?&gt;
<reportDefinition xmlns="">
  <reportName>Custom Adgroup Performance Report</reportName>


POST /api/adwords/reportdownload/v201609 HTTP/1.1
User-Agent: curl, gzip
Accept: */*
Accept-Encoding: gzip
Authorization: Bearer [Enter OAuth 2.0 access token here]
developerToken: [Enter developerToken here]
clientCustomerId: [Enter clientCustomerID here]
Content-Length: 182
Expect: 100-continue
Content-Type: multipart/form-data; boundary=------------------------12d01fae60c7b559
__fmt: CSV
__rdquery: SELECT CampaignId, AdGroupId, Impressions, Clicks, Cost \

Response codes

If the report request is successful, the server returns a Response Code of 200.

A Response Code of 400 indicates an API error; check for any issues with the XML in your report definition.

A Response Code of 500 typically indicates a temporary problem with the server; if this error occurs, retry the request after a few moments.

Reports for multiple accounts

A given report request can only include data from a single AdWords account. If you need to gather reporting data for multiple accounts, submit a separate report request for each account by setting the clientCustomerId header described above.


The report download request may time out on extremely large data sets. There is no explicit data size limit; however, due to a variety of factors, the server may return an error if the report is too large.

If you encounter timeouts or errors, try a shorter date range or use predicates to break up the report request into multiple, smaller requests. For example, instead of running a single report for all campaigns, you could submit multiple requests that each filter for a subset of Campaign IDs.

Supported download formats

Format Description
CSVFOREXCEL The format for Excel. This uses a format of unicode which is prepended with a BOM (byte order marker) to signal to Excel that it is unicode. Excel defaults to use tab as a separator when unicode is being used. If comma is used then Excel will put all of the data in each row into a single column (by default).
CSV The csv (comma separated) output format.
TSV The tsv (tab separated) output format.
XML The xml output format.
GZIPPED_CSV The gzip compressed csv (comma separated) output format.
GZIPPED_XML The gzip compressed xml output format.

Choosing the right report

Because of the extensive reporting options available in the AdWords API, determining the correct report for a particular business need can be tricky.

Use the chart below to determine the most suitable report, then check out the details for that report on the Report Types page.


For more detailed statistics, you can split the data by segments. For example, you might be interested in knowing the number of impressions specific to the Google Search Network, separate from the Google Display Network; in which case, you will want to segment your report by network.

Segmentation, which is available in the UI as a separate menu, is achieved in the API by just adding the proper field to the report. For example, adding the field AdNetworkType1 to an Ad Group Performance report results in a report with a row for each ad group and network combination, and the statistical values (impressions, clicks, conversions, etc.) split between them. While in the UI only one segment at a time can be used for display, with the API you can combine multiple segments in the same report. Keep in mind that the amount of rows can increase exponentially for each additional segment field included in your report.

Implicit segmentation

Every report is segmented by its unique key. For example, the Keywords Performance report is implicitly segmented by Id and AdGroupId, even though they're not included in the selector fields, because a keyword is identified by both Id and AdGroupId.


Single and multiple attribution

When an impression occurs on the Display network, the criteria that play a role in this occurrence can be recorded in one of two ways: single or multiple attribution.

Single attribution

With single attribution, only one of the triggering criteria (such as placement, age, keyword, etc.) is recorded for a given impression. An impression may be triggered by multiple criteria, but on a single attribution report the impression and all of its stats are attributed only to a single criterion.

Each impression is counted exactly once (under one criterion); adding up all the criteria will give you values that match the totals in multiple attribution reports.

Both the Criteria Performance and Keywords Performance reports use this model.

Example report

The example below shows a Criteria Performance Report (single attribution) for a campaign targeting only the Display Network, and using only verticals and placements as criteria. The report shows 10 total impressions across five rows, one row for each of three placements and one row for each of two verticals that triggered impressions—each getting two impressions.

Keyword / Placement,Impressions,2,2,2
Computers & Electronics,2

Multiple attribution

With multiple attribution, up to one criterion in each dimension that triggered the impression will have the impression recorded for it. Multiple attribution reports can be thought of as criteria type-specific reports: Unlike single attribution where a row can contain different criteria types, each multiple attribution report contains criteria for only one criteria type.

For example, the Gender Performance report summarizes all of your impressions by Gender, the Age Range Performance report summarizes impressions by AgeRange, and so on. The Display Topics Performance and Placement Performance reports also follow this model.

Unlike single attribution, multiple attribution reports should NOT be aggregated together, since this may double count impressions and clicks.


Computers & Electronics,6


If you target Display Only with verticals (topics) and placements, and run a Display Topics report, you'll get one row for each vertical (topic) that triggered impressions. Likewise, a Placements performance report will return one row per impressions. These reports are covering the same impressions, because up to one vertical and one placement will both be attributed to each impression.


In single attribution reports, all keywords that triggered impressions on the display network will be represented by a special keyword (text: Content) with ID 3000000.

Keyword ID,Impressions

If you target keywords and placements for Display Only and run an Ad Performance report, you'll get a row for each ad and triggering criteria combination for placements, and a single row with ad and ID 3000000 which accounts for all the display keywords that triggered that ad (where single attribution chose the keyword rather than a placement).


A criteria ID of 3000004 was used for a feature that has since been removed from AdWords.


A criteria ID of 3000006 represents stats associated with the Display Campaign Optimizer.

Format of various fields

While all fields returned in reports have a Type, the actual values returned won't always match these values. You should always check the Notes column, which often contains additional information about the expected format of values. For example, the Notes column for ConversionRate states: Percentage returned as "x.xx%".

Money fields in reports

Fields of type Money are returned in micro currency units (micros) but may be prefixed with "auto: " or may simply be the string "auto" if automatic bidding is used. For example, $1.23 will come back as 1230000 (1.23 x 1,000,000). Micro amounts always refer to the account's local currency.

When filtering on money fields, you'll have to provide the value in micros. For example, WHERE AverageCpc > 1000000 will return rows where the AverageCpc is greater than $1 (one unit of the account currency).

Quality score in reports

Quality score is represented in Keywords Performance and Criteria Performance reports as a score from 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest).

Prior to v201607, reports returned a quality score of 6 for keywords that didn't have enough impressions or clicks to determine a quality score (such as new keywords), and a quality score between 0 and 10 for keywords that hadn't served in a long time. A quality score of 0 was returned for deleted keywords and display keywords whose quality score could not be determined.

Starting from version v201607, a value of two dashes (--) will be used to indicate that no current quality score is available for a keyword. In addition, a new column named HasQualityScore was added in v201605 to allow you to easily filter for keywords that have no quality score available. For example, the following AWQL query selects keywords that have a valid quality score:

SELECT CampaignId, AdGroupId, Id, Criteria, CriteriaType, QualityScore
WHERE Status IN [ENABLED, PAUSED] and HasQualityScore='TRUE'

The following table summarizes the differences in behavior introduced in v201607 for QualityScore and HasQualityScore:

Keyword state QualityScore for < v201607 QualityScore for >= v201607 HasQualityScore for v201605 HasQualityScore for >= v201607
Has a valid quality score Between 1 and 10, inclusive Between 1 and 10, inclusive true true
Insufficient impressions or clicks to determine quality score 6 -- true false
Has not served recently Between 0 and 10, inclusive -- true false
Deleted 0 -- true false
Display keyword whose quality score could not be determined 0 -- true false

Two dashes

A value of two dashes (--) indicates there is no value for this cell.

Lists and maps

Items of a list will be formatted using JSON; for example, a Scheduling from PLACEHOLDER_FEED_ITEM_REPORT value would consist of an array of strings:

["Monday, 6:00PM - 9:00PM","Tuesday, 6:00PM - 9:00PM","Wednesday,6:00PM - 9:00PM",
"Thursday, 6:00PM - 9:00PM","Friday, 6:00PM - 9:00PM"]

Similarly, for a map (such as UrlCustomParameters):


Criteria prefixes

Various reporting fields such as Criteria, CriteriaParameters and DisplayName contain string representations of criteria. In many cases, the string representation is straightforward:

  • Luxury Cruise to Mars for a Keyword with text = 'Luxury Cruise to Mars'.
  • Not a parent for a Parent with parentType = PARENT_NOT_A_PARENT.
  • 18-24 for an AgeRange with ageRangeType = AGE_RANGE_18_24.

However, the criteria types below are more complex and will have a string representation of the form prefix::identifier.

Prefix: uservertical
Identifier: CriterionUserInterest.userInterestId

Sample: uservertical::92000

To get more details for each identifier, use either of the following:


Prefix: boomuserlist

Identifier: CriterionUserList.userListId

Sample: boomuserlist:123456

To get more details for each identifier, use AdwordsUserListService to retrieve UserList objects where the id matches the identifier.


Prefix: contentlabel

Identifier: ContentLabel.contentLabelType

Sample: contentlabel::afe

To get more details for each identifier, see the description for the ContentLabelType instance that matches the identifier (ignoring case).


Prefix: mobileappcategory

Identifier: MobileAppCategory.mobileAppCategoryId

Sample: mobileappcategory::60019

To get more details for each identifier, use the Mobile app categories documentation or the DisplayName field in reports.


Prefix: mobileapp

Identifier: MobileApplication.appId


To get more details for each identifier, use the DisplayName field in reports.


Prefix: docvertical

Identifier: Vertical.verticalId

Sample: docvertical::3

To get more details for each identifier, use either of the following:


This section describes how to resolve some common reporting issues.

Empty default rows returned in reports

You might see reports containing rows labelled Default that contain blank values. These rows are typically returned when your report selectors are not logically consistent. This could occur if you select a sub-field of a parent category when you didn't select the parent category in the report definition, for example, if you specify a field such as ConversionTypeName without also selecting its parent Conversions or AllConversions.

If these rows appear in your reports, checking the logical consistency of the selectors used to generate the report should reveal the source of the problem.

Selecting system-wide default conversion trackers

The AdWords user interface and the AdWords API handle system-wide default conversion trackers in special ways that allow for cleaner presentation in the user interface, and automatic translation when running reports in languages other than English.

Using a system-wide default conversion tracker as a selector in a report definition without specifying its id can produce unexpected results in reports.

For example, if you use the AdCallMetricsConversion system-wide default conversion tracker, and specify its id 239, the row is rendered in AdWords user interface reports as Store Visits. If you specify the same id in a report definition through the API, it also recognizes the selection as a system-wide type, and renders it as Store Visits. Moreover, if you run the report in another language, this phrase is automatically translated, since the system understands you've explicitly selected this system-wide default conversion tracker.

System-wide default conversion trackers are user-modifiable, and the system retains any changes you make to them. Therefore, if you don't explicitly select the id, the report returns the default name store_visits, since it can't determine if you intended to include the id of the system-wide default conversion tracker, or a user-defined id.

Thus, when using system-wide default conversion trackers in your reports, be sure to explicitly specify the id of the conversion tracker to ensure consistent output.

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