Google AdWords API Intentionally Sends Lower Quality Data

I recently bought advertising on a tool which gave Google AdWords ad impression estimates via the Google AdWords API. My ad dollars, and the Google AdWords search volume tool itself, were both rendered useless when Google decided they wanted to provide more consistent and accurate keyword data.

All quotes below are from the above linked Google Groups thread.

As Ben Michelson put it:

I believe this may be just the first phase of a new "less is more" concept.

I expect subsequent versions will alternately snip out or merge previously inaccurate fields, until finally (AdWords 1.0) the TrafficEstimatorService will be void of inaccuracy by providing no information whatsoever.

Robert, another programmer, was also thrilled by the recent "upgrade"

Well done, Google. I just want to release my first Adwords program - partly based on the ctr value. I work about two month for it. Why we should develop programs for Google, if Google changes the API every two month (see also KeywordService)?

Patrick Chanezon, who was hired by Google as an AdWords API evangelist, stated:

The algorithms used in the TrafficEstimator may return some results that do not match your quality expectations, but they are not skewed in any way.

And here I thought making something inaccurate was skewing it...

Inasisi ran through some examples of the intentional data skewing and said:

If it is not on purpose, I don't understand why Google is not correcting the huge skewness in its estimates and further remove the only good statistics that we had to access to. If Google felt the need to be consistent to both the API users and the advertisers who use the UI, then they should have provided more information on the UI instead of having to strip them from the API.

For being so concerned with efficient market theory and collecting so much data Google sure is greedy with their data. They sure expect marketers to trust them with a bunch for not even trusting marketers with something as trivial as search counts.

Yahoo! and eBay allow access to their old marketplace data because it helps drive up costs, commerce, profits, and makes a more efficient market. Why can't Google get a clue on this?

Published: November 20, 2005 by Aaron Wall in google


November 23, 2005 - 12:42am

I downloaded and have been a very happy user of your Back Link Analyzer tool! But with Google's new API TOS, will it still work the same? Thanks in advance for your help.

November 23, 2005 - 12:54am

the AdWords API is a hunk of crap. I think they have not done the same with the regular API yet.

If they do the same with the regular search API you can just about guarantee they are going to start losing serious market share to Yahoo!

December 1, 2005 - 11:45am

"And here I thought making something inaccurate was skewing it..."
My comment in the mailing list was to contradict Inasi's assertions that we were voluntarily skewing our results. This is not true.

If you lookup a definition of skewness (for example
"Skewness is a measure of the degree of asymmetry of a distribution"
Providing less accurate data about a distribution does not change its degree of asymmetry, hence its skewness should be the same.

Taken out of context my sentence loses some of its meaning.

Add new comment

(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.
(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.
(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.