Tag Archives: new_features

AdWords API release and sunset schedule in 2018

In 2016 and 2017 we supported at least three versions of the AdWords API at any given time and four versions for a brief period after each new release. This led to older versions of the API supporting outdated functionality and lacking new features.

To improve your AdWords API experience, we will be updating our release schedule. Starting in March 2018 we will only support two releases concurrently at all times, and three releases for a brief period of four weeks, allowing developers to skip a version. To get us back on schedule, we will concurrently sunset v201705 and v201708 in March 2018. This brings the average lifespan of every API version released in 2018 down to nine months.

Additionally, we will be moving back to a schedule that releases three versions per year. The 2018 releases are scheduled for February, June and September.

As usual, make sure to check our deprecation schedule for more details on sunsets. If you have any questions about the new schedule, please reach out to us on the AdWords API forum or the Ads Developers Plus Page.

Updated release schedule for AdWords API

At the beginning of the year we announced an experimental bi-monthly release schedule for the AdWords API. Based on the results of this pilot and feedback from our developer community, we've decided on a quarterly release schedule for 2017. The 2017 API releases are scheduled for February, May, August and October.

We received positive feedback on increasing the release frequency from the previous three-times-a-year schedule. We also heard that the accompanying sunset schedule was an added burden for some API users. The quarterly release schedule aims to address this feedback. We will continue to monitor the release frequency and your feedback

On average, every AdWords API version released in 2017 will be available for approximately 10 months. One month after every major release, we will sunset the oldest outstanding API version. Similar to the 2016 schedule, we will support 3 releases concurrently at all times and 4 releases for a brief period of 4 weeks at a time to accommodate developers who want to skip two major releases.

As a reminder, v201605 is scheduled to sunset on February 28, 2017. We will post details about the release and sunset of other AdWords API versions on this blog and our developer site. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us on the AdWords API forum.

Fetching invalid product offers in Content API

The Shopping Content API now supports the retrieval of invalid product offers. This means that offers such as those with an invalid category or a mismatched URL can now be retrieved and reviewed via the API. This will enable you to more easily view invalid product offers and debug API requests. Going forward, invalid product offers that are newly inserted via the API will be available for review in the Diagnostics tab of the Merchant Center.

How should you go about retrieving your invalid offers from the API? You can do this by using a new optional URL parameter that has been added to the products.list method, called includeInvalidInsertedItems. (Yes, it's a long name; we apologize for the extra keystrokes.) If you set this parameter to true, your response will include products that were invalid at the time of insertion. The default value is false, so if you don't include the parameter in your request, you will not have invalid products in your response. This preserves existing behavior, with the exception that if you have invalid product offers from feeds, they will also not be returned in the response. Note that you can still use the 'get' and 'delete' methods to reference product offers directly by ID, even if they are invalid. No additional parameter is needed for those methods.

We are introducing one new error when inserting product offers, called "The item could not be inserted". An invalid offer is inserted only if it does not overwrite an existing valid offer. When there already is an existing valid offer, an additional error is returned, stating "The item could not be inserted". This also means that the product offer will not be available for review from products.list nor in the Diagnostics tab. Product offers are matched based on the full product ID, of the form channel:languageCode:countryCode:offerId.

It's important to remember that the new includeInvalidInsertedItems parameter will only filter between valid and invalid product offers, as determined at insertion time, ignoring whether they were or not later disapproved. This means that it will return invalid product offers inserted both from the API and from feeds. To distinguish between approved and disapproved product offers, use the Productstatuses Service.

To try out this new parameter, add includeInvalidInsertedItems as a query parameter to your products.list request. If you have more questions or feedback, please head on over to our developer forum.

Announcing the launch of account-level tax and shipping and improved product dates in Content API for Shopping

We are pleased to announce the launch of API support for account-level tax & shipping for the Google Content API for Shopping v2. Previously, this was only available on the Merchant Center UI. This API feature will match the configuration options available in the UI.

This launch enables you to programmatically specify default tax and shipping rules that apply to all products within an account through the Accountshipping and Accounttax services. Specifically, the account-level tax and shipping rules apply to all products, but can be overridden by item-level tax and shipping settings, which are in the Products service. Note that products' taxes and the Accounttax service are only applicable to products targeting the US.

The shipping settings allow you to set-up different shipping services using calculation methods ranging from flat rate to carrier-based rates, and you can use rate tables or decision trees to specify conditions on price, weight, and delivery location. Please see our guide and reference documentation: Accountshipping service, Accounttax service, which will help you get up and running with these new services.

The second addition is new date fields that many have asked for. The Productstatuses service in v2 of the API has 3 new fields:
  • creationDate: the date that a product was first inserted into the Merchant Center.
  • lastUpdateDate: the date that the product was last updated. This may be the same as the creationDate. It also reflects updates from Inventory service.
  • googleExpirationDate: the date that your product will expire in Google Shopping. By default, products usually expire after 30 days of no updates.
Also, the Products service contains an expirationDate field. This field represents the date as submitted by the merchant. The field is optional, and can be useful for setting an expiration date that is closer than 30 days away.

Another use case of expirationDate is for products you wish to expire later than 30 days away; for example, 40 days away. As you continue to resubmit the product, this date will remain unchanged, and the product will not expire until the expirationDate is reached. Remember that if you don’t resubmit a product within a 30-day window, it will automatically expire, regardless of what date you set in expirationDate. There is no equivalent v1 field to expirationDate.

On that note, please be aware that these new features are not available in v1, which is deprecated and will be sunset at the end of February 2015.

We hope these new features will simplify your process for configuring tax and shipping settings, and clarify your product expiration dates. As always, feel free to reach out on the developer forums if you have any questions.

Announcing support for Content API v2 errors in the Merchant Center API Dashboard

We are pleased to announce that the Merchant Center API Dashboard will now also include errors from Content API for Shopping v2. The errors from Content API v1 and v2 are displayed separately, and you can choose either one from the dropdown menu at the upper-left of the Dashboard. Note that if you’ve been using v2 of the API, your dashboard by default will show the Content API v2 errors.

As a friendly reminder, if you haven’t migrated to the Content API for Shopping v2, please start migrating now; v1 will only be available until the end of February 2015. We also have a handy migration guide that can assist you in the process.

If you have any other questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to head over to the developers forum.

The new, improved Content API for Shopping

Since its launch in 2010, the Google Content API for Shopping has played a critical role in enabling merchants to manage product items, users, and subaccounts programmatically at scale. We’ve received a lot of feedback from you over the years, and today, we’re happy to announce a new version of this API.

The Content API version 2:

  • introduces new core functionality, including item-level data quality information, simple inventory updates, and additional account management features
  • is easier to use thanks to high quality client library support, improved tooling, reference documentation and integration with Google’s common API infrastructure
  • has simplified request and response message formats, and now also supports JSON in addition to XML encoding

Version 2 of the API constitutes a big overhaul and we’re eager for you to try it! Version 1 of the API will continue to be available until the end of February 2015, but we recommend that you adopt the new version as early as possible to take advantage of its new and improved features.

New core functionality: Data quality, inventory and account management

In version 2 of the API, you can request full data quality reporting for the whole account as well as item-level information like disapprovals due to incorrect prices or unavailable landing pages.

The inventory service lets you update price and availability of any product without resubmitting other product details.

All existing account management features, such as linking AdWords accounts, adding authorized users, and updating settings are now available for all account types.

Client libraries, better tooling and more

If you don’t want to parse JSON or XML yourself, check out the client libraries for .NET, Dart, Go, Java, JavaScript, Objective-C, PHP, Python and Ruby. The libraries use OAuth 2.0 authorization and work with the Content API as well as many other Google APIs.

The standard Google API tools such as the API console support Content API version 2 out of the box. Additionally, in our API reference documentation, you can now scroll down to the bottom of any reference page to try the API. You can also visit the standalone API Explorer to browse a list of supported operations.

Simplified message formats

The new XML format is lighter than in version 1 of the API. JSON, which is both simpler to work with and uses fewer bytes to transfer the same data, is also supported in version 2.

Learn more

If you would like to learn more about the Content API version 2 you can check out the API documentation. We’ve also prepared a few code examples in PHP and Java if you would like to dive in straight away.

If you have any other questions or comments, please head over to our support forum.