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AdWords API policies

The AdWords API lets developers build tools that help advertisers manage their AdWords accounts and campaigns more efficiently and creatively. Our policies aim to ensure that the API is used in ways that support and enhance AdWords while providing a transparent and consistent experience to advertisers.

We may request to review your use of the API at any time and for any reason to ensure that it complies with the AdWords API Terms & Conditions and the policies here:


General API policies

Use of the AdWords API

You can only use the AdWords API for AdWords campaign creation, management, or reporting.

You may only use the API functionality in the way described in your token application. If your needs change and you'd like to modify your API usage (for example, by adding creation or management functionality to a reporting tool), you need to fill out this tool change form.

Unused tokens

Google may disable your API token if it's not used consecutively for 90 days. If your token is disabled for zero usage, you may reapply at any time.

Required Minimum Functionality

Required Minimum Functionality (RMF) refers to the features and other functionality that certain tool developers must offer when using the AdWords API. RMF features are grouped into three categories: Creation Functionality, Management Functionality, and Reporting Functionality. See the RMF rules.

Your compliance with these rules depends on how you use the AdWords API:

Creation Functionality
Requirements
Management Functionality
Requirements
Reporting Functionality
Requirements
Full-Service Tool
(advertisers, agencies, and other third parties use your tool to fully manage their AdWords accounts)
RMF applies RMF applies RMF applies
Reporting Only
(only a reporting dashboard is made available to agencies or end-advertisers)
RMF doesn't apply RMF doesn't apply RMF applies
Internal Use Only
(used only by individual advertisers or agencies, so no third-party access to tool)
RMF doesn't apply RMF doesn't apply RMF doesn't apply

Note that RMF applies only to tokens with Standard Access (see the rate sheet for more information on Standard Access).

If your tool offers very limited and specialized functionality, and could not be used for creating and managing campaigns, ad groups, and ads, it may not qualify as a full-service tool. In this case, the creation and management RMF would not apply. If you’re not sure whether the RMF policy applies to your tool, contact the AdWords API Compliance team. The AdWords API Compliance team will decide whether your tool is full-service or not. Your tool may be reevaluated if the functionality changes significantly.

The RMF policy ensures that advertisers have access to features and to the detailed performance data that can be found in AdWords, no matter what combination of tools they choose to use. The RMF list contains policies as well as documentation resources for developers regarding each feature. If you have additional questions about the specific requirements for a given feature, contact the API compliance team.

If you violate our RMF policy, you may be subject to non-compliance fees and your token may be downgraded as described in the API rate sheet.

Required disclosures and other responsibilities

This section on required disclosures and other responsibilities applies to these groups:

  • agencies and other third parties that manage campaigns on behalf of end-advertisers and provide software tools to those advertisers
  • software developers that provide tools to agencies and third parties

If you're an end advertiser or otherwise use the AdWords API for internal purposes only, the policies in this section do not apply to you.

Required disclosures

Accountability is a core principle of AdWords. We want advertisers -- no matter what tool they use -- to understand how AdWords is performing for them. The requirements below explain how you should be transparent to advertisers in reporting and managing AdWords data.

Disclosing inconsistencies:
If you provide a full-service tool to end-advertiser clients (and if those clients also use your tool to manage ad systems other than AdWords), your clients need to understand the differences in each system before they make changes to their accounts.
 
If your API tool offers bulk editing, copying, importing, or exporting of AdWords campaign data to or from another ad platform, you must disclose to your clients incompatibilities between the platforms to avoid inconsistent or erroneous data transfers. You also must offer clients the ability to make adjustments and/or cancel data transfers to resolve or avoid such incompatibilities.

Example: Say your API tool allows clients to import non-AdWords data into AdWords, but the non-AdWords data isn't available at the same level of granularity as AdWords data (such as AdWords allows targeting at the ZIP code level but the other ad platform only allows targeting at the city level). You must disclose this inconsistency before the data import is completed and offer your client the ability to cancel the import or modify the campaign data before proceeding.

Example: Say your API tool allows clients to export AdWords data to another ad platform, but the other platform defines a particular data variable differently than AdWords (or doesn't make the data variable available at all). You must disclose this incompatibility before the data export is completed and offer your client the ability to cancel the export or modify the campaign data before proceeding.

Delayed data:
If your reporting of AdWords performance data is delayed to end-advertisers or other clients by more than 24 hours, you must prominently disclose this delay to your clients.

Google third-party policy:
Agencies or other third parties that purchase or manage Google advertising on behalf of end-advertiser clients must comply with Google's third-party policy.

Sharing and reporting AdWords data and data from other advertising platforms:
As an agency or other entity that purchases or manages Google advertising on behalf of end-advertiser clients, you must obtain written consent from your clients before selling, redistributing, sub-licensing, or otherwise disclosing or transferring data specific to their AdWords accounts (including keywords, bids, campaign settings, or performance data).

Advertisers using your tool also must be given accurate information about AdWords, including the ability to distinguish between AdWords data and data from other ad platforms. If your tool provides reporting data from other advertising platforms, you must report the AdWords data separately from the non-AdWords data. If AdWords data is available at a more granular level than aggregated data or data from other ad platforms (for example, if AdWords provides geographic reporting at the ZIP code level but other sources provide geographic reporting only at the city or state level), you must report the AdWords data at the more granular level. You can report aggregated performance data (combining AdWords data with non-AdWords data) provided that the AdWords-specific data is also provided in an easily accessible location.

Example: If your tool provides geographic advertising performance data aggregated across multiple advertising platforms (for example, AdCenter, Yahoo, Yandex, etc.), it must also separately provide the AdWords geographic performance report and its required fields.

Other responsibilities

Cross-platform functionality:

This policy on cross-platform functionality applies to those who meet these conditions:

  • those who build software tools used by end-advertisers, agencies, or other third parties that manage campaigns on behalf of end-advertiser clients;
  • those whose software allows users to copy, import, export, or optimize campaign settings across different ad networks and platforms.

If you're an end-advertiser or otherwise use the AdWords API for internal purposes only, this policy doesn't apply to you.

If you allow users of your software to copy, import, export, or optimize campaign settings between AdWords and a different ad platform, you must allow users to copy, import, export, or optimize in whatever direction they choose (such as copying from AdWords to Yahoo, or vice versa).

Example: If your tool allows users to copy campaign settings and other data from AdWords and export or optimize those settings to Yahoo, Bing Ads, and Yandex, your tool also must allow users to copy campaign settings and other data from those platforms and export or optimize back to AdWords.

Client opt-out:
Your end-advertiser clients must be given a quick and easy way to stop using your tool to manage their AdWords campaigns. Within 3 business days of receiving notice from an end-advertiser client, you must provide that client the ability to disassociate their AdWords campaigns from your services and developer token and regain exclusive control of their AdWords accounts.

Data security:
You must use all reasonable efforts to keep advertisers AdWords API data in a secure environment at all times according to commonly acceptable security standards for enterprise data. Additionally all data transferred using the AdWords API must be secured using at least 128 Bit SSL encryption, or for transmissions directly with Google, at least as secure as the protocol being accepted by the AdWords API servers.

Prohibited practices

Scraping TargetingIdeaService or TrafficEstimatorService

The TargetingIdeaService (TIS) and TrafficEstimatorService (TES) help advertisers and agencies generate keywords programmatically and optimize their AdWords keyword and bidding strategies. You may not collect data from the TIS or TES for any purposes other than creating or managing AdWords campaigns. If you're an advertising agency or an Independent AdWords Developer and would like to give your clients access to TIS or TES data through your external API tool, you need to meet all of the Required Minimum Functionality requirements (campaign creation, management, and reporting).

Scraping Google Search or purchasing scraped data

You may not scrape Google search result pages or any other Google property, and you may not indirectly obtain scraped Google data from any third party. If you intend to publish a report that includes search data obtained from legitimate non-Google sources, your report must disclose the source of the data and your specific data collection methodologies.

Supplemental tokens

If you provide tools to end-advertisers or other third-party clients, you can't require them to apply for their own AdWords API token in order to use your tool. End-advertiser applications for such tokens also will be denied.

Generally, we assign only one AdWords API token per corporate entity. If you need more than one, please contact us.

Allowing automated use of your API token

You can't allow agencies, end-advertisers, or other third parties to use your AdWords API token (or your own API) in a way that would allow those third parties to avoid applying for their own AdWords API token. Any automatic or programmatic use of AdWords by agencies or end-advertiser clients requires them to use their own AdWords API token; you cannot provide indirect access to your API token via APIs that you provide. End users of your tool will need to manually sign in to use your tool, rather than having automatic access, to make manual or programmatic changes to their accounts.

Example: If you're a tool provider that licenses ad-management software to agencies and end-advertisers, you may not develop your own API that would allow your clients to access the AdWords API via automatic or programmatic computer scripts.

Note that this policy does not restrict your own use of the AdWords API in a programmatic or automated way. It prevents you from allowing third-parties to access the AdWords API in a programmatic or automated way using your API token (instead of applying for their own API token).

Violation of AdWords policies

As a user of the AdWords API, you and anyone that uses your tool (for example, end advertisers) must comply with the AdWords policies and AdWords terms and conditions.

Example: If the manager account associated with your AdWords API developer token is suspended for policy violations, you need to fix the suspended account immediately to continue using the AdWords API.

Unauthorized use of Google branding and trademarks

As a user of the AdWords API, you must comply with Google's brand-usage guidelines.

Example: Your AdWords API tool may not replicate the look and feel of the AdWords user interface or otherwise confuse others into believing that your tool is a Google product.

Interfering with Google activities

Google may monitor and audit any AdWords API activity to ensure compliance with the Terms and Conditions and these policies. You aren't allowed to interfere with such monitoring or auditing and cannot otherwise conceal from Google your AdWords API activity. Any interference will be considered a violation of these policies.

Your AdWords API Client (as defined in the Terms and Conditions) can't interfere or attempt to interfere in any manner with the proper working of the AdWords API. Each AdWords API Client must pass its assigned developer token to Google as outlined in the AdWords API Specification.

Policy enforcement

Contact information

You need to keep up-to-date contact information in the API center of your MCC account at all times. We recommend that you enter an alias (with all relevant API contacts) as the contact email address. The email address listed in the API center will be the primary means of contact for compliance-related issues. Failure to respond to requests or notices from the API team will constitute a violation of these policies and may result in downgrading your status from Standard Access to Basic Access or termination of your API token. Upon request, you must also provide additional contact information as necessary.

Demo account

Upon request from Google, you must provide a demo account to your API tool within 7 days of the request. The demo must be a live version of your tool or a demo with the same functionality as the live version so we can review it for compliance with our policies. Failure to provide the demo, or any attempt to provide a false account of your live tool, will constitute a violation of these policies.

Notice of violations and non-compliance fees

If you violate these policies, Google will send a notice to the email address on file with your AdWords API account, and you might have a period of time to correct these violations with no penalty. Google may send you a warning before charging non-compliance fees in accordance with the rates detailed on the AdWords API rate sheet.

Violation of these policies may also lead to additional consequences, including downgrading your status from Standard Access to Basic Access, imposing other quota limits on your AdWords API usage, or termination of your AdWords API token.

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