Revisions to the AdWords API Beta Program

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

First, I want to thank you all for your feedback, support and patience over the last several months as we worked to redefine the AdWords API in a way that would better meet everyone's needs.

Back in November we formed an internal task force to re-examine the API beta program’s structure and quota allocation system. Our goal was to come up with a revised system that better aligns the needs of all developers with our own needs as an organization. Over the last few months this group has gathered developer feedback from multiple sources including your emails as well as feedback provided via the AdWords API Developer Forum.

As a result of our task force review process, we've decided to change the overall structure of the AdWords API Beta program. We believe these changes will better balance the needs of developers and advertisers with our own system and resource needs.

Based on our interactions and conversations with you, we have identified four key issues that needed to be addressed as part of any new API plan.

  • Flexibility and scalability: Our developers need a more flexible and scalable API program that can address each developer’s needs, but that also can be applied equitably to all developers in order to maintain a level playing field for everyone.
  • Commercialization terms: The terms and conditions need to be modified so all developers have the opportunity to commercialize their applications.
  • Usage and functional standards: We need to maintain certain usage and functional standards that increase overall advertiser returns.
  • Incentives for efficiency: We need to implement incentives for developers to design more efficient applications. This, in turn, will ensure greater system availability for all.

Based on these needs, we will implement two major changes to the AdWords API Beta program on July 1st, 2006.
  • Revised quota allocation system & pricing model: We are changing the quota allocation system and pricing model to create a more flexible and level playing field that encourages efficient coding and application design. Effective July 1, 2006, the current free quota system will be replaced by a usage-based system. Under this new model, AdWords API token holders will be charged a nominal $0.25/1000 quota units consumed. As a result, current developer quota caps will be removed in order to provide a more flexible and scalable system for quota allocation and consumption.
  • Modified terms and conditions: We are modifying our terms and conditions in order to simplify developers’ abilities to commercialize their applications while at the same time ensuring that advertiser returns are maximized through the promotion of certain functional standards. These new terms also will go into effect on July 1, 2006. Prior to that date, you will be able to view an advanced copy of these terms and conditions at
In June we will launch an API registration micro-site that provides more details on these new billing processes and procedures. Please note that certain developers, such as those who design proprietary applications to advertise their own businesses, may be exempt from a portion of these fees and terms. The registration micro-site will provide more details on these exemptions.

Thank you all again for your feedback and patience over these last few months. We'll be in touch again shortly to provide you with more details.

-- Rohit Dhawan, Product Manager

UPDATE as of 6/21/06
Based on developer feedback, we have decided to delay these revisions by one quarter. Therefore, the new pricing model will launch on October 1, 2006, and the new registration pages and new Terms and Conditions will be posted in August. For more information, please review our June 21 posting.

UPDATE as of 9/06/06
The new AdWords Terms and Conditions (referenced above) are now available on the AdWords API website, or by visiting