Using the Google My Business API to manage your location extensions

Last year, we announced upgraded location extensions, a more efficient way to manage and use business locations in ads by linking Google My Business and AdWords accounts. To help you manage your business locations more easily at scale, we’re now releasing the Google My Business API.

Google My Business will be the central repository for managing your business locations. The creation of manual location extensions as feed items through the AdWords API has been deprecated and will sunset in Q2 2016. Please update your code before March 31, 2016 to avoid being impacted by this transition.

Supported features
The first version of the Google My Business API allows you to read, create, update and delete unverified business locations. Supported attributes are name, address, contact numbers, URL, categories, and business hours. Unverified locations can be used as location extensions in AdWords, but have to be verified to be eligible to show up on Google Maps.

Future releases of the Google My Business API will support additional functionality that will allow you to fully manage your location data across Google Ads and Maps.

Getting started with the Google My Business API
If you already use the AdWords API and manage more than 50 business locations, you can apply for access to the Google My Business API. Once granted, you will have access to the Google My Business API documentation and you can follow the steps there to get started. For accounts with 50 or fewer locations, please use Google My Business Locations for now.

Linking locations to accounts, campaigns or ad groups as location extensions
Users managing multi-location businesses (chains) must have a separate Google My Business account for each chain for bulk-verification. If you already manage locations under bulk-verified accounts in Google My Business today, you can link those accounts to AdWords to have your location extensions in sync.

For developers managing AdWords accounts with a large number of locations for small and medium businesses, we recommend creating one Google My Business account as a central repository for all locations. Each physical location should be created only once. If different owners and managers are involved per location or for sets of locations, we suggest using Business Accounts.

Once the AdWords accounts are linked to your shared Google My Business account, the locations will be available as feed items in AdWords. You are responsible for creating a CustomerFeed and using an appropriate matching function to make sure only locations that actually belong to the customer are linked to their related AdWords account. You can use CampaignFeeds or AdGroupFeeds for additional filtering based on campaigns or ad groups.

The best way to filter locations from a shared Google My Business account is to create location labels through the Google My Business API and use a matching function that uses these labels for selection. For example, you can label each location with its AdWords Customer ID in Google My Business and use these Customer ID labels for filtering in AdWords. Or you can label each location with a unique ID, as long as you keep track of these IDs.

Please see our guide for managing location extensions for further details, which also includes an end-to-end code example.

Migration of existing location extensions
If you are using manual location extensions through the AdWords API, we recommend migrating your locations to Google My Business before March 31, 2016. After this date, the creation of manual location extensions will sunset. All unmigrated locations stored in AdWords will be auto-migrated to Google My Business at a later date. Further details about the timeline and process will be announced in this blog.