You've seen in Part III of this book that the Google AdWords program provides a way for advertisers of any size to reach an audience consisting of most of today's Internet users. AdWords provides elaborate mechanisms and tools to help advertisers make sure that ads are published in a relevant context and viewed by those who are likely to be interested in these ads. In addition, AdWords provides sophisticated reporting and conversion-tracking tools so advertisers can easily figure out if they are getting their money's worth from their AdWords campaigns and modify their campaigns and ads for better performance.
But what happens when the number of ads, targeted keywords, and ad campaigns under management scales upwards? If you are managing multiple accounts with hundreds of ads in the aggregate, it becomes hard to manage AdWords using manual log ins into the AdWords Campaign Summary (and the other account management tools provided).
Google's AdWords API web service is intended to let programmers create software that interacts directly with the AdWords server. With custom applications created using the AdWords API, advertisers can (with some clever programming) efficiently manage their large AdWords accounts and campaigns.
This chapter introduces the AdWords API, explains the high-level process of working with a web service such as the AdWords API, tells you how to get a developer token, and explains the different services that comprise the AdWords API.