While there has been lots of talk about a Google crackdown on developer access to the AdWords API, there have been few details about what the disputed issues may be — and why they’re coming up now, with tools-makers like Raven and SEOmoz that have had access to the API for years.
Now, Raven Tools, which was warned about possibly having its API token revoked back in November, is opening up about what’s going on in its case, at least. The issue: Raven has long been using data scraped from search engine results pages (SERPs) to display ranking and keyword data for its customers.
While the company has been doing this for years, and says it’s successfully gone through two previous Google audits, the search engine giant is now choosing to enforce the anti-scraping provision in its AdWords API terms of service. Google has previously denied that it’s cracking down, or doing anything new other than continuing to enforce its terms of service.
Given Google’s new hard line, Raven has chosen to stop displaying the scraped data — SERPs rankings and keywords — within its tool set, in favor of keeping on good terms with Google, and retaining access to the AdWords API. Based on comments to its blog post, the reaction has been mixed, with some saying they understand the desire to stay on Google’s good side, while the majority of commenters complained that the scraped data is much more valuable than the AdWords API data.
While one of the appeals of Raven for marketers has been getting a lot of different types of data in one place, it seems Google’s stance — to remove AdWords API access from developers that are also scraping data — will likely prevent an all-in-one solution from existing.
Raven will be removing the SERP Tracker data as of January 3, and will allow customers to export their data until January 2.