FAQ

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Pricing and Compliance

AdWords API Terms and Conditions Update

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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 manager account'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 manager 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 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 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.

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 interact with the AdWords platform in an efficient and responsible manner. In 2010 we launched the preferred pricing program that offered free AdWords API units to eligible agencies and developers of search engine marketing (SEM) tools. We got positive feedback from this program and we now want to extend free usage to all developers to encourage innovation.

What are the different access levels for the AdWords API?

There are two levels of AdWords API access:

  1. Basic
  2. Standard

The access levels pertain to number of daily operations only; there are still token-level rate limits to prevent excessive stress on our systems and to guarantee good performance for all our API users. All users are still required to comply with AdWords terms, AdWords API terms, and the required minimum functionality, where applicable. There will be no charges for AdWords API usage for either basic or standard access.

Basic access: This is the default access level for all approved developer tokens. Basic access allows developers to execute up to 10,000 operations and 1,000 report downloads per day.

Standard access: This is the access level for those needing more usage capacity. Standard access requires developers to provide additional details and keep these details current with Google.

What are non-compliance fees and how are they determined?

In order to ensure optimal advertiser and user experience, we monitor AdWords API usage and application compliance to the AdWords API terms and conditions.

If your application is not in compliance, you'll be alerted and given a period of time to make appropriate corrections. At the end of this initial notice period, if the corrections aren't made, then you may be given an extension of up to 3 months. During this time you will be charged a monthly non-compliance fee based on the greater of:

  • $1 for every 25,000 operations that were used in the month before you received your initial non-compliance notice.
  • $1 for every 25,000 report download requests issued in the month before you received your initial non-compliance notice.
Continued non-compliance will result in API access being revoked.

Read more about how operations are counted.

As an example, let's say you executed 25 million operations in April, and we found that your application was not in compliance with the AdWords API terms and conditions. You would receive a 30-day notice on May 1 to bring your application into compliance. If the required changes were not made by May 31, you would be charged a flat non-compliance fee of $1,000/month (25,000,000/25,000 x $1) for a maximum of 3 months (June, July, and August) or until your application satisfies compliance requirements—whichever comes first.

We were getting free API units for advertising our own business. Do we still need to apply for standard access?

All developers requiring more than 10,000 operations or 1,000 report downloads per day need standard access. Allocation of free API units based on AdWords spend will be retired. Based on your history with the AdWords API and details you've shared with us, we may be able to pre-qualify you for standard access. However, in order to ensure that your API access is not affected, we encourage you to apply for standard access.

We have already been approved for preferred pricing and get free API units. Do we still need to apply for standard access?

You might or might not. The Preferred Pricing program which was offered to agencies and search engine marketing tool developers, will be retired. Starting March 1, 2013, all developers requiring more than 10,000 operations or 1,000 report downloads per day will need standard access. Based on your history with the AdWords API and details you've shared with us, we may be able to pre-qualify you for standard access. However, in order to ensure that your API access is not affected, we encourage you to apply for standard access if you have not heard from us OR if the details you had provided during your preferred pricing application has changed recently.

Can we continue to pay current AdWords API charges and not apply for standard access?

No. If you use or expect to use fewer than 10,000 operations and 1,000 report downloads per day, you are not required to apply for standard access.

How are AdWords API operations counted?

Starting March 1, 2013, API units were deprecated and all operations are now counted equally. report download requests will not be counted towards the daily operations quota. In a batch job, each operation is counted separately.

Each AdWords API operation such as a get or mutate is counted separately. For example, a get operation that generates 10 results objects will only be counted once. For mutates, each mutated item counts as one operation. The following table gives some examples on how the new accounting will work:

API request Operations counted towards Daily Limit
Operation: get
Count: 53 ad groups
Service: AdgroupAdService
1
Operation: mutate (ADD)
Count: 2 ad groups
Service: AdgroupAdService
2
Operation: get
Count: 100 targeting ideas
Service: TargetingIdeaService
1
Operation: mutate (ADD)
Count: 10 campaigns
Service: BatchJobService
10
How can I find out what my API usage is, and whether I should apply for standard access?

Your app's activity logs should allow you to calculate an estimate for API usage.

When should I apply for standard access?

If you did not apply for standard access before February 28, 2013, you were defaulted to basic access. If you expect your usage to increase beyond this limit in the future, you should apply for standard access at a minimum 3 weeks ahead of time, and include as much details as possible in your application to ensure timely processing of your request.

How long does it take for standard access to be approved?

If all the details you provided on the standard access form are accurate and any follow-up clarification questions are responded to promptly, we expect to complete the review in about two weeks.

What are some of the common reasons standard access approval may be delayed or not granted?

Some of the common reasons for delayed approvals are:

  • Incomplete details provided on the standard access application
  • Inaccurate contact details in the manager account that is associated with the AdWords API developer token
  • Not responding to follow-up questions and clarifications by the AdWords API support team
  • Using the API in ways inconsistent with the AdWords API terms and conditions
  • Not implementing the Required Minimum Functionality
  • Current AdWords API usage is very low and does not yet justify standard access

Do we need to re-apply for standard access at any time?

If the information you provided in the original standard access application changed or if the AdWords API support team requests you to do so, you need to update your details using the standard access application form.

For example, if you were an advertiser for a single website but would now like to advertise on behalf of multiple clients, or, if your tool had previously offered only reporting functionality and you would now like to implement creation and management of campaigns, then you will need to provide the updated details via the standard access form.

With API usage being free, do we still need to provide billing details when applying for the AdWords API token?

We no longer require billing information during signup. Details like contact info are still needed. There are no charges for compliant API usage under either basic or standard access.

AdWords API Terms and Conditions Update

What do I need to do if I'm a current AdWords API user?

As an AdWords API user, please accept the updated Terms and Conditions to continue to use the AdWords API.

  • If you are a third party developing an API tool for a client who owns that software, and you don't have the authority to accept on your clients' behalf, please ask your clients to sign in to their accounts to review and accept the updated terms.
  • You'll receive an email with instructions on how to review and accept the new terms. Please note that if you don't accept the terms within 45 days of receiving this email, we'll consider you to have accepted the terms based on your continued use of your developer token.
Where do I find the new Terms and Conditions and how do I accept them?

In addition to instructions sent to you by email, you'll also see a red alert bar at the top of the manager account associated with your AdWords API developer token containing a link to the new Terms and Conditions. To accept the new terms, just follow the prompts.

You can also review the new Terms and Conditions. To review our previous terms and conditions, see below.

I'm not seeing the new Terms and Conditions when I sign in to my account.

Don't worry! If you're not seeing the new terms when you sign in to your account, there's nothing more for you to do right now. Because we're updating the new terms on a rolling basis, you may be scheduled for a later time. Or the terms may already have been accepted by someone else authorized to act on your behalf.

What's changed?

The updated Terms and Conditions are designed to be a more concise and better organized way for you to understand what's required of you as a user of the AdWords API. As with any legal document, you might consider consulting an attorney if you have legal questions. Here are some general pointers about the new terms:

  • Accepting the new terms does not change any of your bids, budgets, or other campaign settings. As always, you'll continue to control your settings in the Campaign tab of your account.
  • You'll also see links to a new AdWords API Policy Center, which the new terms require you to follow.
  • Keep in mind that if you decline the new terms, your developer token will be terminated.

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