Another Tool Maker Forced To Choose Between AdWords API And Scraped Data

Last week, search marketing software provider Raven decided to stop using scraped data after Google’s AdWords API team threatened to revoke the company’s token. Now, a second tools provider, Ahrefs, says it, too, will remove functionality that uses scraped data, to maintain access to the AdWords API.

Ahrefs announced the change on its website

A third provider, SEOmoz, has said it has lost access to the AdWords API, but didn’t elaborate on the reason.

Though Google denies conducting any sort of crackdown, it does seem that the team monitoring compliance with the AdWords API’s terms of service are being more zealous than they’ve been in previous years, as Raven, for one, has operated for years with no complaint from Google. In informing customers about the change, Ahrefs seems to recognize that the landscape has changed.

“We decided to stop paying for scraped data as it violates Google’s Terms of Service and puts our service on shaky ground nowadays.,” said the Ahrefs team in a blog post, later adding, “…Google is strongly discouraging the use of scraped data and we will stop providing keyword tools, them being a useful addition but not the main focus of our service.”

Ahrefs will continue to offer its Keywords Analysis feature through January 11, and the offering — along with export capabilities — will be free to all registered users between now and then. The company says the change will allow it to focus its efforts on maintaining its index of back links.

Related Topics: Channel: SEM | Google: AdWords | Google: APIs


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  • daveintheuk

    Google hates scraping! Except when it is for “knowledge” graph. Then scraping is fine.

  • Alan

    Another tool I will stop using. Shame it was a pretty good tool.

  • Richard Wong

    In other words, they are all for copyright infringement.

  • KJ Sudbury

    The irony of Google not allowing / liking scraping when they scrape the Internet for Google Places, Citations, Reviews, Knowledge Graph etc etc.

  • Dorothea Kettler

    This is truly sad. SERP analysis tools are going down, one by one. I’m curious what tools we’ll be left with in 1-2 months.

  • Norrth Software

    Have no fear Dorothea, there’s no shortage of SERP trackers left ready to take their business! We’re in the free beta stage now @ Norrth, take a look

  • Andre Voget

    It seems that Germany-based but English speaking SEO tools such as and are not affected. (Disclosure: I’m co-founder of

  • Dorothea Kettler

    Thank for the recommendation. Since my work is focused a lot on Local SEO, I prefer to stick with :)

  • Lisa Agostoni

    So why bother with these tools after January?

  • Jonathan Skelker

    any idea how Hubspot seem to be able to keep ranking data, keyword difficultly and search volume in their Keyword tool, I wonder if Google being and investor helps, or if they have an alternative agreement with Google?

  • Teresa Hessler

    I’m using Rank Ranger ( and their response to my (rather frantic) inquiry was:
    “Months ago we foresaw the problem that companies like Raven are currently facing and proactively built our own system independent of the Google AdWords API. Therefore Rank Ranger continues to provide the SERP data that SEO professionals need.”

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