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Old 01-21-2005   #1
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Google To Open Up API To AdWords Customers

And its about time.! People have been waiting for this. The news is at http://www.siliconvalleywatcher.com/..._google_to.php "The API will allow advertisers to self-administer the delivery, the timing and the price they will pay for their text ads." "Access to the Adwords API will initially likely favor larger companies with technical skills to optimize their advertising delivery"


good work Google!
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Old 01-21-2005   #2
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The main problem with Adwords is the runaway budget effect it can have on first timer users. They try to go conservative and the Click Through Rate falls and they are warned about having their campaign deactivated. In a way they are being coerced into spending more than they wanted to.

I hope this new API lives up to the promise of giving the small time advertiser more control. Wouldn't it also be great if you could see on which sites your ads appeared with a report you could generate through the api?
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Old 01-21-2005   #3
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Have been beta testing this for over a month.... it is going to be handy... but that is all I can say.
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Old 01-21-2005   #4
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Syncing Adwords ads for product related searches with a store's real-time inventory would be extremely valuable since you wouldn't waste money advertising products that are out of stock, or miss opportunities to advertise new products.

Last edited by haystack : 01-21-2005 at 08:08 PM. Reason: Completed my thought.
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Old 01-21-2005   #5
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Just in case some people are confused about what an API really is

API is short for Application Program Interface defined by some as "The specification of how a programmer writing an application accesses the behavior and state of classes and objects."

In other words, the API is just a standard for how to access a computer system - in this case the AdWords backend. You will need an application, usually something YOU build, that actually does something. So, the API in itself won't give you any functionality - just an interface. There might be access to other things, or more things, than the normal (web) interface have but you still need to build an application or system to utilize it.
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Old 01-21-2005   #6
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Great clarification point, Mikkel.

For people/companies that do have the expertise and resources to build tools though, there are countless applications that can be used through these APIs.

Throughout the entire buying process (from forecasting to production to optimization to reporting), eliminating human touchpoints decreases the chance for errors and increases speed to market. The end result is that much of the tedious grunt work of SEM falls by the waistside and analysis moves way up the value chain.

Possibly the most exciting part is getting the raw data to slice and dice. This becomes particularly important when you consider that Google is the last of the major programs to roll out an API to its customers. Now marketers who are using APIs with the other engines can get data directly from Google, as opposed to relying on screen scrapes which can be problematic.
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Old 01-21-2005   #7
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Yes, there are tons of VERY cool things you can do - build better interfacing, tools and build it into existing publication systems, CMS etc. The possibilities are endless and very inspirering

Now I would just like to know how much it will cost
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Old 01-23-2005   #8
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Now I would just like to know how much it will cost
Cost? I was figuring it would be free!!!!
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Old 01-23-2005   #9
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"Free" is not a very common concept in competitive marketing
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Old 01-23-2005   #10
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There could be a free model, much like Amazon's Web Services: http://www.amazon.com/gp/browse.html...8&node=3435361

Like Amazon, the smarter engines realize that by opening up their backend, there are efficiencies created on both the top and bottom lines.

On the spend side, revenues should actually increase with use of the APIs, since as I mentioned in a post above, time will be focused on actually analyzing data - as opposed to just moving it around. As for expenses, while there will absolutely be significant technology cost incurred, they may be offset by eliminating a lot of the work the account teams do today. This is a classic automation play, requiring an up-front investment that will become profitable over time.

The big question in my mind is whether all the engines, not just Google, will offer an API to all their customers - not just the big ones.
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Old 01-23-2005   #11
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Some of the other engines do have APIs and I believe there is a cost of using most of them. So based on that I would not be surprised to see Google charge something for it too.

Remember, some comapnies will - and I guess thats the intend too - build tools and services to profit from the interfacing with Google. I think it's a valid argument that it should cost something - at least for such companies. But, off course, I would personally love for it to be free - I am just trying to be realitsic
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Old 01-23-2005   #12
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I doubt if Google intends to charge for this...
I would be interested in any list of engines that are offering an API right now...
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Old 01-23-2005   #13
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I haven't personally had the use for it lately but I believe at least Overture have an API but that one, at least used to, be something you pay for. Also, I think FindWhat/eSpotting have something too but I am not absolutely sure - so please, anyone, correct me if I am wrong
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Old 01-23-2005   #14
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As far as I kmow the first versions of the PPC engine APIs were limited to bid management functionality. Changing now of course as reporting data becomes available via APIs.

Overture - yes they do have one, hence the ABM software out there and tools like AtlasOnePoint. There is a cost.

FindWhat - not sure but I think so. Espotting - yes they do, but it is comparitively new I believe.
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Old 01-23-2005   #15
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When I say free, I don't mean free as in air, i am sure that there will be a cost, but I bet it is deferred, e.g. if you run $XY,000 through the system per month then the cost is differred.

This just makes sense. It takes a percentage of the strain away from Google in terms of both developing their own interface and the number of people that interface needs to support. An API will also aid invovation in the use of AdWords, which will, inevitably, lead to more spending.

Charging for the priviledge of using an API under such circumstances just seems silly, as long as the people with access to it achieve minimum spend levels.
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Old 01-23-2005   #16
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Originally Posted by projectphp
This just makes sense. It takes a percentage of the strain away from Google in terms of both developing their own interface and the number of people that interface needs to support. An API will also aid invovation in the use of AdWords, which will, inevitably, lead to more spending.
They will still have to develop the interface for the vast majority of advertisers who can't afford API-based tools - esp. as local search PPC ads ramp up and bring more PPC newbies on board. Taking their foot off the development pedal will be a u-turn on their model of making AdWords as self-service as possible.

I doubt they see the API as a way to reduce development time or investment.

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Charging for the priviledge of using an API under such circumstances just seems silly, as long as the people with access to it achieve minimum spend levels.
True - but there is always the danger their idea of a minimum spend level is very high, excluding all but the biggest direct advertisers (e.g. eBay, Amazon etc) and the big agencies, traditional or SEM in origin.

Overture I believe - and I stand ready to be corrected - charge on a 0.001 cent per bid change model or something similar. However, I have never asked them direct about this.
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Old 01-23-2005   #17
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I doubt they see the API as a way to reduce development time or investment.
I think it will, because the AdWords interface will have a more defined audience. I bet the high end AdWords users have put pressure on Google with requests that an API would remove.

Now, AdWords will be a basic system for entry level, and all requests for greater features are addressed with "have you considered using the API??"
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Old 01-24-2005   #18
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Let's hope we see an announcement from them by the end of the week that clarifies what is actually on offer...and wait for the flood of tool announcements from Atlas etc. in your inbox!
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Old 01-24-2005   #19
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Free (Hopefully)

I got a phone call from Google couple months ago and one of the questions in their survey was "If google offered these services that you asked for (I begged for a better interface as to what I would like to see in Adwords) how much would you be willing to pay. My answer was if that is a one-time fee $xxxxx and if it is a subscription service $xxxx/month. The person on the phone responded "What if it was for free". Granted Overture and Kanoodle currently has a friendlier interface and seems little easier to play around in terms of bid management and seeing how competition is acting. It would be just catching up with the competition if Google offered it for free.
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Old 01-24-2005   #20
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Now that I think again, from a strategy point of view it would be quite brilliant of Google to offer the API for free. Not the least because the other don't. It would go well along with all the best PR stunts they pulled so far. It would fit the profile and ethics projected

Imagine when thousands of companies, programmers and script-kids start building cool stuff around the API - and promote it! What about the eCommerce site that spend 25k on building an automated connection between their best selling products and AdWords - do you think they are now less or more likely to drop AdWords?

The long term lock-in value for Google in giving this away would be fantastic. let's hope they realize this ...
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