Update: Google AdWords access was restored to Raven on Nov. 28!
No company likes to send bad news to customers.
But it’s absolutely necessary when that news may matter to their companies and customers.
Yesterday, Raven’s Chief Product Officer Jon Henshaw emailed all of our account owners—both existing customers and those in trial now—to let them know that Raven expects to lose access to the Google AdWords API very soon. Our goal was to get as many facts to customers as we could, as directly as possible, so they could take action.
Raven learned of this issue late last week. Discussions about what’s best for our customers followed over the next few days. The company could have allowed the advertising tools to stay until the API access was pulled. In the end, Raven’s leaders made the difficult decision to turn off the affected tools rather than let them become useless to our customers when the API is eventually turned off.
That decision led to yesterday’s email.
Since then, we’ve heard from customers worldwide. Some of the questions we expected, and some completely surprised us. We’d like to share our answers so that everyone can be up to date. We’d also like to update you on the AdWords reporting that will still be available in Raven, and how that’s possible.
1. Is [tool] or [data] still available?
We want to be very clear about this, as many customers have asked how this would affect Google Analytics, keyword research and rankings in Raven, for example. It is not true that Raven has lost all Google data, which is how some customers have misunderstood the situation. This issue only affects AdWords.
1. Google Analytics data in Raven is still available. Raven gets that data from the Google Analytics API, which is completely separate from the Google AdWords API and has not been affected by this. There is no such thing as a “Google API;” each entity offers separate APIs. Raven still integrates data from Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools APIs — only access to the AdWords API is at risk.
2. The Keyword Manager and SERP Tracker tools are still available in Raven. We will continue to use the AdWords API data as long as it’s available. We have identified an alternate source for search volume and competitor data and will add that data to Raven as soon as possible. We will keep all customers up to date.
3. The Research Assistant tool is still available in Raven, and you will continue to see keyword data in results and reports from that tool. This data is from a reliable third party that Raven has worked with for years.
4. The following standalone tools will be removed completely from our platform at 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 14:
- Ads > Google AdWords
- Metrics > Google AdWords
- Insights > Google AdWords
- Research > Keywords > Google AdWords
2. Will this affect my ranking reports, and does this mean Raven will only have ranking results from Bing?
No, you can report rankings as usual. Raven gets weekly SERP ranking data for Google, Bing and other search engines from our third-party partner Authority Labs.
3. Is there an alternate way to report AdWords data in Raven?
Yes, as it turns out. The Google Analytics API passes some AdWords metrics to Raven. You can report on those metrics with Raven IF:
- You have synced your AdWords account to your Analytics account with Google.
- You have synced your Analytics account with Raven.
- You have checked this box in the Metrics > Google Analytics tool: “Enable – Check to include AdWords campaign and cost data within your Google Analytics reports.”
- You choose the AdWords:Summary and AdWords:Campaign modules in the Google Analytics section of the Report Wizard.
For step-by-step instructions in more detail, with screenshots, see our article in the Knowledge Base.
4. Why didn’t I get notified by email?
Raven emailed every single account owner — both existing customers and those currently in trial — and those emails were sent to the email address we have on file for each account. If you’re a Raven user but you’re not paying for the account, check with your account owner. Also, account owners, please make sure that the email address that you have associated with your Raven account is one that you check often. To check on or change your communication settings, please go to Main Settings > Contact Details. Look for the gear icon in the upper-right hand corner of every page in the Raven tool.
In Contact Details, any user (not just account owners) can also sign up to be notified of major Raven news and updates. Click “Subscribe” for “Raven Features, Tools & Company News.”
1. Oh, no! We’re sorry to hear that. How can we help?
These responses warmed our hearts and made a bad day much better. As Raven’s Community Manager Courtney Seiter commented yesterday on Twitter:
Thank you for your support.
Yeah, we hear you. We feel you. And we want to know how we can help you. Email email@example.com.
A few words about speculation
For every person who wanted to know how this change affected them, another person wanted to know why it happened. We understand the feeling.
We would like to tell you more, but it wouldn’t be appropriate. What we can tell you is that Raven is committed to providing data from Google, and we’re continuing the conversation with the AdWords team.
As far as whether this is happening to other companies or is an industry-wide thing, it’s not appropriate for us to speculate about other companies’ access to the AdWords API. We can only tell you what we know about Raven. The only way you can be sure is to contact other software companies directly.
Meanwhile, know that we’re continually researching data and data sources to integrate with Raven. Remember, Raven has more than 20 data partnerships and integrations, with dozens upon dozens of metrics for you to research, analyze and report. It’s part of our value that we’re able to offer you multiple data choices for research, for example, or that social metrics are merged with Google Analytics for more insight.
Thank you for being a loyal Raven customer.