Mass Rejection Of AdWords API Developer Tokens

Sep 14, 2011 • 8:18 am | comments (12) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google AdWords

AdWords API LogoDozens of Google AdWords developers are complaining that all of a sudden, their access to use the AdWords API has been restricted.

A Google AdWords API Help thread has the complaints.

These developers are citing that their developer "tokens" are being "rejected" all of a sudden.

The first complaint came yesterday morning from Kyle who wrote:

I have had an approved developer token for months now and today for some reason my developer token has been rejected.

I have re-applied for the developer token, but can some provide some insight as to why all of the sudden my account has been rejected.

As of writing this story, Google has not yet responded to all the developer complaints.

It seems to me there is some bug, not sure how major, but seems to be widespread, causing all of these old tokens to expire and thus be rejected.

One user added his frustration:

We have had the accounts for about 5 years! That is how long our token was working fine. To give you an idea, over that time we have used about 230,000 credits, due to our spend, we have over 75 million unused API credits, so I doubt the issue is related to any policy or account linking changes. We don't do anything but pull stats for our singular client account (which is our only company's Adwords account).

Forum discussion at Google AdWords API Help.

Update: Bad news, this was done on purpose. More details over here.

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Will Spencer

09/14/2011 12:38 pm

We got hit.  Our API access status in the AdWords portal was changed to "Rejected." We reapplied and are waiting for re-approval.

David K

09/14/2011 01:57 pm

Any word on a resolution? We have also re-applied. Currently, we're losing paying users at an overwhelming rate due to this. I hope Google can get this fixed right away. I called an AdWords support rep and he looked into our API and is going to speak with a Product Specialist and hopefully get back to me within 24 hours he said. Somehow I am doubting that'll resolve this, but I just want this resolved.


09/14/2011 07:58 pm

API Support team posted a reply on the forum.  Pretty much said reapply.  Oh, and wait 5-6 weeks for approval!  Pure craziness on the part of Google.

David K

09/14/2011 08:12 pm

Google just f***** over my business and the futures of a few families who depend on the income that our software provides. How can this be acceptable? 5-6 weeks? Re-apply? For what? We never even got notice that we were rejected. We've been paying for access for almost 12 months and then they decide to do this? I want some explanations. 


09/14/2011 10:19 pm

Google have taken these people's money. After 5-6 weeks some companies will be out of business. Why  couldn't Google give notice? Google gains almost nothing from not giving notice but it will kill businesses and jobs. Quite something.


09/14/2011 11:10 pm

   Yes, this is unacceptable.  This would be equivalent the the ARIN (who gives out IP blocks) disabling all of Google's IP addresses.  Then after a couple of day informing Google they are keeping high standards by reviewing IP allocations.  Please reapply and wait 5-6 weeks if you are not doing anything wrong.  Its insane, and its truly sad there are people now literally sitting at home in limbo at the best case, or already laid off.


09/15/2011 04:10 am

We disabled some AdWords API Developer tokens on 9/12 as part of our periodic review of AdWords API activity. We have done this to ensure quality, improve Google products and services and compliance with AdWords API Terms and Conditions. If your token has been disabled and if you wish to re-apply for the token, please visit the AdWords API Center in your account. Remember to answer the following in detail if you re-apply for the token: a) Describe the uses of your API application or tool with specific examples. For instance, account management or bid optimization. b) Who is or will be using your API application or tool? For example, colleagues in your company or advertisers or agencies to whom you are selling the tool. c) Please attach screenshots of your API application or tool. If the application or tool is yet to be developed, please provide relevant design documentation.d) Please provide a list of clients that will be using your API application or tool in an automated way. Questions? Comments? Please write to AdWords API Team

David K

09/15/2011 07:53 pm

Why was NO notice given and NO reason given? This is ridiculous. We pay you for almost a year for API access and then we're shut down without a notice or reason? Pretty nice for a company that says "Dont Be Evil". I would expect that from Microsoft, not Google. Can you answer all of us why we were shut down? How can we fix the problem if we don't know how?


09/17/2011 01:30 pm

Google doesn't really care about us 'small boys' simply because they will get the revenue from the customer either ways whether we exist. In fact, we optimize Google Adwords or help customers save money from Google Advertising - thus, driving revenue away from them. Google just sucks - I'm hoping Facebook catches up soon.


09/27/2011 10:15 pm

Notice how Google's Adwords API Team is quick to respond to the question below its answer (which is a clear attempt to minimize bad PR). Cutting off data to developers and businesses that is offered for free, fine, I get that.  Even Google had enough decency to give notice to SOAP API users well in advance that the service would be shut off.  Did the Adwords API Team not get the same schooling as the other department.  So... One would think that Google would be smart enough to at least give "courtesy" notice to those that have been PAYING for the data for years.  There is this thing in the legal field called "bad faith" and a person or entity relying upon the behavior that was shown in the years past and I know a number of API developers that have relied upon Google's past behavior for years. Besides, the fact that the usage was cut off without notice and then Google decided to give notice by email to developer AFTER they took action is documentary bad faith that shows their bad faith intentions. Someone slipped up big time.  You see... It's this kind of behavior that creates empassioned individuals to create a group that bands together filing a  Class Action lawsuit against an entity. Bad faith actions carry punitive damages that can easily amount to many many millions of dollars to make an example out of the entity and assure that another entity doesn't come along and do the same thing. Perhaps Google wants to be made an example on their unlucky thirteenth birthday so they can prove to the world that they "do no evil."  Perhaps this is their way of aching for a nice birthday gift.  Besides the above, it is my understanding Google has failed to advise Adwords API users of any terms of use changes that may have occurred and that there would be any sort of quota imposed since their excuse to developers was low usage.  If Adwords developers got together and compared notes and there was a huge influx of supposed "low usage" and that reasoning was found to be fraudulent, Google just exposed themselves to fraud (and further punitive damages).  Dumb, dumb, dumb. In Google's own slippery terms of service, it states: "Usage and Quotas. Google may, in its sole discretion, set a quota on your AdWords API usage based on, among other things, the AdWords spend history of the accounts under management by your Developer Token. You shall not attempt to exceed automated use-quota restrictions."  Wow -- that's being specific. California contracts (which their Terms of Service imposes) are supposed to be drafted with specificity, ambiguity. "[M]ay... set a quota" is not actually setting one, thus, making the terms of service in and of itself Vague and Ambiguous that could lead to a court voiding the legal effect of that clause. Apparently, Google's Legal Department was NOT involved here and actual employees made decisions that could have some serious ramifications should a civil class bubble up from somewhere.  And I'm sure there are hundreds out there. And everyone has a copy of the email that Google Adwords API team sent to all of its developers that cite "low usage."  They even reinforced it with a follow-up email.  Unfortunately, Google can't recall that email back so they have committed to a "position" and that position could bite them in the butt more than they even care to know. It's not like Google really needs any bad press on its, um, 13th birthday.  And from what I heard, there is someone that is already in touch with a news station who wants to expose Google for being the careless wrecking ball they are.   How unlucky for them... (And in the background, the crowd hears the Google paper shredders hum as they go into high gear.)


01/15/2012 12:50 am

We have been in "review" for 3 months.  It takes 5-6 weeks just to get a response.  


01/15/2012 12:52 am

We have been in "review" for 3 months.  It takes 5-6 weeks just to get a response.  We just got a response saying we should "Reapply."  We have already reapplied (twice).  Come on API team, get it together.  We spend a good deal of money every month and use the API to communicate with our accounting teams.  

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