10 Things to Know About the Google Ads API Upgrade

Google recently announced that the current Google AdWords API will sunset on April 27, 2022. Anyone using this API will need to migrate to the Google Ads API by that date. While the new API has a lot of benefits, this upgrade requires a major overhaul for advertisers, brands and agencies using the current API.

We have been working closely with Google on this change for over a year and have tips and suggestions for making the transition as smooth as possible. This post is intended for a technical audience.

Here are 10 things you need to know about the change:

  1. Finally Some REST: The legacy Google AdWords API supports a SOAP client library, while Google Ads supports a RESTful API backed by a client library implementing gRPC.
  2. Restructuring Ahead: While Google has strived to reach functional parity in the Ads API, there is not a 1-to-1 correspondence between AdWords and Ads service endpoints. This means you will likely need to restructure how your application interfaces with the API.
  3. Out With the Old, in With the New: Some long-supported paradigms, such as single-attribution, will be dropped in favor of multi-attribution, which should yield more accurate attribution reports. Another example is the RichMediaAd ad type, which will not be migrated to the Ads API. You’ll want to make sure you understand the latest ad types and metrics.
  4. Don’t Forget to Stream: In order to get the best performance out of the gRPC streaming protocol, you will need to use the “searchStream” request instead of the “search” request.
  5. You Need to Warm Up: In order to enhance the startup time, you will need to send some warm up queries before firing your regular queries. Reference documentation
  6. We Can Coexist: To make the migration path easier, Google has allowed AdWords and Ads to coexist in the same application so that you can mix and match AdWords and Ads objects.
  7. Avoid Wrappers: Creating a wrapper that converts the Ads API to the current AdWords interface to minimize code changes is not recommended. We tried that and it didn’t work well.
  8. Better Smart Bidding Support: The Ads API supports the Smart Bidding features very well compared to AdWords API.
  9. A New Way to Paginate: Pagination support has been changed in Ads API. Google now supports pagination by the pagesize and pageToken fields of the SearchGoogleAdsRequest object.
  10. Better Error Handling: Error Handling has been changed in the Ads API, especially in handling Partial Failure.

Of course, this change also presents an opportunity to revisit the build vs. buy decision for your company. Having a custom solution tailored exactly to the needs of your business may seem attractive, but you are likely making serious trade-offs when compared to a platform that can spread its innovation over a large customer base.

Here are a few reasons to consider switching to a third-party platform to manage your Google Ads vs. building your own:

  1. You don’t have the time and energy to understand the nuances between the Google AdWords SOAP and Google RESTful APIs nor the expertise to take advantage of the performance improvements offered by the gRPC streaming protocol.
  2. You don’t have a dedicated engineering team that can undertake the (substantial) migration effort and keep up with maintaining and upgrading your custom code that uses the Google Ads API.
  3. The upgrade is likely to be larger than originally anticipated.
  4. Platforms like MarinOne offer an amazing degree of flexibility and customization, and a purely bespoke solution is often no longer necessary.
  5. With increased use of Smart Bidding, your needs have probably changed. Being able to work across channels and think about budget planning and optimization are common needs in 2021.
  6. This change isn’t the last time you’re going to have to upgrade.
  7. You want to work beyond Google.

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