Marketers managing a large number of keyword ad campaigns stand to benefit the most from the API, as it will let them connect their ad-management systems to Google's AdWords and automate campaign management for multiple clients.
Such efficiency is now a necessity in the increasingly competitive search ad market, according to Rob Wilk, director of search-engine marketing for Avenue A/Razorfish Search, a division of online advertising firm Avenue A/Razorfish. "Advertisers that try to manage these things by logging in to Google's Web interface are going to get gobbled up," he says.
Google's announcement has been widely anticipated. Yahoo's Overture Services Inc. has been offering an API with similar capabilities for years. For both companies, APIs are about improving customer service.
"Essentially, they're trying to let marketers self-administer their campaigns, giving them easier-to-use tool sets so they can manage their bidding processes better and more easily," says Marianne Wolk, senior Internet analyst at Susquehanna Financial Group LLLP. "Their goal is to make it as easy to advertise with search as it is to buy television or print advertising."