In the last couple of weeks, two well-known search tool providers — Raven and SEOmoz — have had their access to the AdWords API revoked, with little public explanation, as was reported by Kahena Digital Marketing. But Google denies that this is a “crackdown” or widespread enforcement activity, saying it’s all in a day’s work of ensuring compliance with the terms of service for its API.
Here’s the official statement from a Google spokesperson:
“We regularly audit developers to make sure they comply with the terms of our AdWords API so that AdWords customers get the best experience when they use third-party applications.”
Back in September of last year, Google initiated a widespread review that resulted in hundreds of developers having their AdWords API access revoked, though some began to have access granted again after jumping through certain verification hoops.
It’s quite mysterious what Raven or SEOmoz might be doing (or not doing) in violation of the terms of service, as neither organization would disclose what Google’s issues might be. Nor would Google spill the beans.
“We would like to tell you more, but it wouldn’t be appropriate,” wrote Raven communications director Arienne Holland in a blog post. “What we can tell you is that Raven is committed to providing data from Google, and we’re continuing the conversation with the AdWords team.”
And SEOmoz product manager Tela Andrews wrote, “Google hasn’t given us specific feedback on features that led to our credentials being removed. Without specific guidance, we would rather focus our efforts on getting replacement data from other sources.”
The API access revocation only applies to AdWords, and not any other Google APIs used by the tool providers, such as from Google Analytics or Google Webmaster Tools. Both Raven and SEOmoz said they were investigating other data providers to replace at least some of the information they’d previously gotten from the AdWords API.
UPDATE: As of Wednesday, November 28, Raven has returned the AdWords API data and functionality to its software, saying ongoing discussions led the Google team to extend the company’s access through late December.
“We are still working with them to extend our access long term, and we’re confident those conversations will be productive,” wrote Raven’s Jon Henshaw in a blog post today.