Google opens AdWords API

Google has launched a test program to let external developers build applications that interact directly with the search giant's advertising servers, the company announced Thursday.

Via the AdWords API beta program, advertisers can build custom applications linked to the AdWords servers to, for example, access their accounts via new interfaces and employ new tools to manage their ad campaigns, according to information found in Google's Web site.

The API (application programming interface) program could also be used by other parties that help advertisers manage their campaigns, such as search engine marketers and agencies, according to Google. The beta service is free of charge and more information, sample code, a developers' forum and a guide can be found at http://www.google.com/apis/adwords/.

Google uses the AdWords program to sell text ads that run with the search results. The ads are relevant to the topic searched on Google's search engines or members of Google's ad network. The ads can also appear in pages with content that is related to them. Google matches the ads to the search results pages and to the content pages via keywords previously selected by the advertiser as triggers.

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