AdWords API

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General Questions

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Pricing and Compliance

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Technical Questions


General Questions

What is the AdWords API?

The AdWords API allows developers to use applications that interact directly with the AdWords server. With these applications, advertisers can more efficiently manage large AdWords accounts and campaigns. Please review the AdWords API rate sheet for details about API pricing.

How can I use the AdWords API?

You can use the AdWords API to employ or develop programs that help you or your clients more efficiently interact with related AdWords accounts. Some possibilities might include:

  • Generating automatic keyword, ad text, URL, and custom reports
  • Integrating AdWords data with other databases, such as inventory systems
  • Developing additional tools and applications to help you better manage AdWords accounts

All you need to get started writing programs is a Developer Token, which you'll receive upon signup. After your token is approved, you'll be able to access the API.

Who should sign up for the AdWords API?

The AdWords API is designed for developers representing large, tech-savvy advertisers and third parties. This includes SEMs (search engine marketers), agencies, and other online marketing professionals who manage multiple client accounts and/or large campaigns. Because implementing the AdWords API takes technical know-how and programming skills, advertisers who employ developers can achieve the best results.

What if I don't have a My Client Center account?

You need to have a My Client Center (MCC) account to apply for access to the API. If you do not already have an MCC account, you will have to create one. For more information about My Client Center, please visit our FAQ.

If you create a new MCC account in order to apply for the API token, link all of your existing accounts or the accounts of your clients to the new MCC. This will ensure that your application is processed as swiftly as possible. See this link for instructions.

Why do I need a My Client Center account in order to access the AdWords API?

Developer tokens are granted only to My Client Center (MCC) accounts. Typical users of the AdWords API—advertisers and agencies which manage many accounts—will already have an MCC account.

Is there a difference between managing my AdWords account through the AdWords API and the AdWords interface?

The AdWords API offers much of the same AdWords functionality that is available through our online interface. Any changes you make through your AdWords API will affect your AdWords account. The difference is that the AdWords API gives developers and users more flexibility to create additional applications and tools to manage their AdWords accounts. This depends on the client software being used and programs created.

Are changes I make through the AdWords API reflected in my live AdWords account?

Yes. Any changes you make via the AdWords API will impact your live AdWords account. We recommend that you test your applications on test accounts before deploying them in production.

What applications can I develop?

This all depends on your programming talents and advertising needs. Some possibilities might include:

  • Automatically creating ads, ad groups, and campaigns
  • Automatically downloading reports to monitor performance
  • Integrating AdWords data with other databases, such as inventory systems
  • Developing additional tools and applications to help you better manage your AdWords accounts

See more use cases.

What is a Developer Token?

A Developer Token is a unique combination of letters, numbers, and characters that identifies your AdWords API activity. It is your key to talking to the AdWords server and your clients' AdWords accounts. In order for us to identify your activity, you should include the Developer Token in the header of all your API requests.

To protect yourself from fraud, do not share your Developer Token with others. You can find your Developer Token through your AdWords API Center—accessible from your My Client Center's My Account tab.

How do I use the Developer Token?

You should include your Developer Token in the header of all your API requests so we can authenticate and properly identify your AdWords account activity. You may not have to manipulate the header directly if you take advantage of one of our client libraries.

I need to hire someone to create a program for me. Where do I look?

Start by searching our Developer's Forum. You can find past postings or post your own request here. You can also visit Webmaster World for help. When in doubt, perform a Google search on 'AdWords API developer.' Please note that these developers are not employed, endorsed, or approved by Google.

When searching for a developer, it's important that you do your research and hire a developer who you can trust. Google does not officiate over partnerships you may build with developers. Therefore, we suggest you conduct a comprehensive screening process and unearth as much information as possible before hiring a developer.

How may I use the Google AdWords logo?

Below are some restrictions on using the AdWords logo with your API Client. Your permission to use the logo is granted in the AdWords API Terms and is subject to these restrictions.

The AdWords API Terms are written to permit you to resize the logo to fit your AdWords API client application as long as you maintain the aspect ratio of the logo. If you are using the logo on a webpage, there must exist a minimum spacing that is no less than 1/2 the height of the logo between each side of the logo and other graphic or textual elements on your webpage. Also, the logo must appear by itself in a manner that does not in any way indicate to viewers of the webpage that Google endorses any non-Google products, services, or information provided on that webpage.

You can't (and agree not to) do any of the following:

  • Change the aspect ratio or colors of the logo in any way
  • Display the logo as the most prominent element on your webpage
  • Display the logo in any manner that implies a relationship or affiliation with Google or sponsorship or endorsement by Google. It can't be used in a way that can be reasonably interpreted to suggest editorial content or data analysis has been authored by or represents the views or opinions of Google or Google personnel
  • Display the logo on your website other than as permitted by Google Permissions
  • Display the logo on any product, book, or other material (other than what was specified as OK in the guidelines above)
  • Display the logo on any website that contains or displays adult content, promotes gambling, involves the sale of tobacco or alcohol to persons under 21 years of age, or otherwise violates applicable law or stated Google editorial policies
  • Display the logo in a manner that is in Google's sole opinion misleading, defamatory, infringing, libelous, disparaging, obscene, or otherwise objectionable to Google
  • Display the logo on a site that violates any law or regulation
  • Frame or mirror any Google page (including the page that appears in response to a click on the Google logo or Google search box)
  • Remove, distort, or alter any element of the logo
  • Display the logo so it appears larger or more prominent than your name, product, or service name, trademark or service mark, logo, or trade or company name
  • Include the logo in your trade or business name, domain name, product or service name, logo, trade dress, design, slogan, or other trademarks
  • Translate the logo or otherwise localized into any other language. Any translated versions of the logo must be provided by Google
  • Display the logo as a design feature on any of your materials
  • Imitate the logo in any manner in your materials

You may not use the logo in any way other than as specified in these guidelines. Failure to comply with these instructions is a breach of the Google AdWords API Agreement.

Can I sign up if I have an AdSense or other Google account?

Yes. AdSense, Gmail, or other Google service users can sign up for the Google AdWords API program. We only require that you have a current AdWords account. If you would like to sign up for AdWords, please visit https://adwords.google.com.

I already have a My Client Center account. What happens to it when I sign up?

After you enroll in the Google AdWords API program, your My Client Center account will be automatically updated, unchanged. Your personal information and client accounts linked to your account will not be affected. The only difference is you'll now have a new sub-tab, named AdWords API Center, available from your My Account tab. Click on this sub-tab to access your Developer Token and API usage information.

What is SOAP?

SOAP is the Simple Object Access Protocol. It's used for information exchange and RPC, usually (but not necessarily) over HTTP. More information can be found in the specifications. The AdWords API uses the SOAP architecture.

What is the WSDL?

WSDL is the Web Service Description Language. It provides a formal description of a web service, much like CORBA's IDL. The WSDL file is all you need to know how to call the web service; toolkits can generate proxy code from a WSDL file directly.

What is the AdWords API mailing list?

The AdWords API mailing list provides product updates and announcements, sent directly to your email inbox. Our mailing list is powered by Google Groups, so you can sign up in three easy steps:

  1. Enter your email address on the AdWords API home page.
  2. Wait for a confirmation email to arrive in your inbox.
  3. Click the verification link contained in the email to activate your subscription to the mailing list.

That's it! You don't need to click the 'Join' or 'Sign in' links from the Google Groups confirmation page.

We'll send email to the mailing list when there are product feature announcements that you'll be interested in, but we won't send you anything unrelated to the API—your email address is protected by our privacy policy.

Find instructions on how to unsubscribe to the API mailing list.

How do I opt-out of the AdWords API Announcements Mailing List?

You can opt out of the AdWords API Announcements mailing list by unsubscribing through Google Groups. Here’s how:

If you’re a registered Google Groups user (or you think you might be):

  1. Go to the Announcements mailing list membership page.
  2. Click the 'unsubscribe' button to remove your email address from the AdWords API Announcements mailing list.

If you’re not a registered Google Groups user, you must first sign up for Google Groups before you can opt out of the mailing list. To do this:

  1. Sign up for a Google Groups account. (Be sure to use the same email address you used to sign up for the AdWords API Announcements mailing list.)
  2. Go to the Announcements mailing list membership page.
  3. Click the 'unsubscribe' button to remove your email address from the AdWords API Announcements mailing list.

Find instructions on how to subscribe to the API mailing list.

When is the API down for scheduled maintenance?

We currently do not have a maintenance schedule. Any expected service interruptions will be announced in the AdWords API Announcement Forum.

How do I authorize AdWords tools after signing up for 2-step verification in my AdWords account?

We strongly recommend you use OAuth2 authorization instead of ClientLogin, which is now deprecated and will be removed in the future.

If you still use ClientLogin and you've opted to use 2-step verification, and your Google Account is associated with other Google products (like the AdWords API or AdWords Editor), you'll need to enter an application-specific password instead of your regular account password when you log in using these tools. Learn how to generate an application-specific password. (For instructions on using the application-specific password in AdWords Editor, see this article.)

If you no longer want to use 2-step verification, you can follow these instructions to disable 2-step verification for your Google Account.

Who should I contact for help?

We suggest that you browse through the AdWords API developer site. Here, you'll find helpful guides, sample code, and reference documentation. Also, you can join our Developer's Forum to get help from other AdWords API developers, as well as follow our Google+ page for the latest scoop about the API.

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Signup

What's my "company type"?
When you apply for access to the AdWords API, you'll be asked for your company type. Here are your options:
  • Advertiser - You manage AdWords campaigns only for your company's website(s), products, or services. You do not manage AdWords campaigns for any other companies.
  • Agency/SEM - You manage AdWords campaigns for clients, and may offer additional services related to online marketing, web hosting, SEO, etc.
  • Affiliate - You participate in other companies' affiliate programs. You use AdWords to help advertise their products online.
  • Independent AdWords Developer - You intend to use the AdWords API to develop and license software related to AdWords. You do not manage AdWords campaigns for clients.
What happened to the Integration Service company type?

The Integration Service company type has been combined with Agency/SEM. This will not affect your access to the API in any way.

What do I need to get started using the AdWords API after signup?

All you need to get started is an approved Developer Token. You can acquire it after you register for the AdWords API.

After you sign up, your Developer Token will be sent to your account email address. Once approved, this token will be activated and you'll be able to access the API by including it in your request headers. Your token will be shown on your AdWords API Center—accessible through your My Client Center's My Account tab.

Read our FAQ to learn more about Developer Tokens.

How do I update my Developer Contact Email?

To change/update your contact email, follow these instructions:

  1. Log in to your AdWords My Client Center Account and click the gear icon in the top-right.
  2. From the drop-down, click Account Settings.
  3. Click the AdWords API Center from the navigation tab on the left.
  4. In the section containing your Developer Details, click Edit.
Can I start using the API as soon as I sign up?

After you provide your developer and billing information, you'll be assigned a Developer Token, but you'll need to wait until your token has been approved before accessing the API. The AdWords API Review team will contact you within one week of your application. In the meantime, you may apply for a Test Account in order to begin developing and testing your application.

What information do you need about my application and its users?

We want to know what your application will do (e.g. custom reports, account management, bid optimization, etc.) and who'll be using it (e.g. colleagues in your company, your clients, advertisers or agencies to whom you will sell the application, etc.). Please be thorough in your description. The more you tell us about your application and users, the faster you will be approved and the better we can understand your needs in order to continue developing the best operations, resources, and support for our users. We will not share any of the information you provide to us with outside parties.

What are common reasons why a Developer Token would not be approved?

The AdWords API Terms & Conditions include detailed guidelines for appropriate use of the AdWords API. You must agree to these terms during the billing set-up step. If you have used, or intend to use, the API in ways inconsistent with these terms, your tokens will not be approved. If you are developing an external tool—one in which your clients will access—your tool must implement our Required Minimum Functionality.

Read more about signing up for the AdWords API.

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Pricing and Compliance

Why is the AdWords API being offered for free?

We were charging a small fee for AdWords API usage to encourage developers to create applications that i