AWQL, Adwords Scripts, and 3 Days of Programming

If you’ve never played with Adwords Scripts, do it right now. Leave this tab open, but immediately click this link here.

**This post is going to be a tad technical. I will link when possible and try to explain thoroughly. However, I am a little excited about all of the possibilities and I may forget.**

I have been playing with Adwords Scripts and digging into AWQL over the past 2 weeks. To be honest, I’ve spent 3 full days digging into what’s possible, and how Scripts can help me and my clients.

The Adwords Scripts IDE
The Adwords Scripts IDE

Apart from tweaking a lot of preset scripts that Adwords offers (most of the scripts are very close to helpful to me off the bat, but I need to make them my own for them to work for me), I’ve also been working on some data reporting projects. I’ve been unable to find these scripts (or anywhere to grab the data I’m getting) anywhere else online, and I’ll be sharing them here after they’re done. If you want early access, email me here and I’ll give you status updates and a blog subscription.

If you’re not in the know, Adwords Scripts is basically a way to access Adwords through their API, but without having to deal with most of the things that come along with creating an application that pulls from the Adwords API. That means we can access the data, manipulate it, process large amounts of it, and make both minor and bulk changes to our accounts.

Some examples of things you can do with Adwords Scripts –

  • Pause all keywords with less than 100 (or any number) of impressions over any given date range
  • Get a quality score report for all of your keywords (you can get a ton of reports with Scripts – more on this later)
  • Bid your keywords up or down automatically to get the desired position
  • Change your bids based on the weather (I mean, how cool is that?!)

Using the scripts is fairly easy. Adwords gives you a lot of the instructions for running simple scripts, and for most things you’ll be able to find information elsewhere online (if not already available in Google’s library).

Quick step-by=step for Scripts

  1. Run a test script to get started.
  2. Decide what you want to do with your script.
  3. Check to see if Adwords has an example for you.
  4. If not, find appropriate snippets here.
  5. Set it up in the Adwords Script section of your account.
  6. MAKE SURE YOU PREVIEW THE SCRIPT BEFORE RUNNING IT. DO NOT RUN SCRIPTS BEFORE TESTING THEM.
  7. If you’re familiar with Javascript, you can access the AWQL guide here to help you with the API calls for complicated Scripts.
  8. If you’re not familiar with JS and you want something done that’s not easy or available, contact your PPC provider or email me.

So that’s a run down on Scripts. Let’s talk a little about AWQL – Adwords Query Language.

AWQL is the API call language for Adwords. Basically it’s a list of commands that can be used to pull or send data to Adwords via your own system. The biggest difference between using the API and using scripts is that you need to use your own IDE and you’ll need to deal with the data on your own (instead of easily getting back a Google Docs sheet).

However, you can use a lot of the AWQL calls within the Adwords IDE and integrated with the “modified Javascript” that Adwords Scripts uses. Certain sections of the API, like the report types functions, can be very useful, and the instructions for modifying the reports are very simple. Some of the preset snippets on the Scripts page use the report names from the list above, but you’ll need to check that your report modifiers all match. Using AWQL=type language and Scripts-type language together can be complicated.

The more I dig into Scripts and AWQL, the more powerful I find it. If you’ve never played with this tool before, go check it out now.

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