Your Internet experience runs on APIs. The acronym has helped you compare the best prices for flights, allowed you to embed a map into your store’s website and seamlessly processed your credit card payments.
But what is an API and why does it matter to you? In this article, we’ll give a high-level overview of APIs and how they relate to your daily life.
What is an API?
API stands for application programming interface. This is a concept in software technology that essentially refers to how multiple applications can interact with and obtain data from one another. APIs operate on an agreement of inputs and outputs.
Application: These can be apps that you use on your smartphone or a software program that you use. Programming: Developers use APIs to write software. Interface: How you interact with the application.
How APIs Work: A Helpful Analogy
To use an analogy here, we’ll compare this to ordering a drink at a bar. When you step up to the bar, you’re given a menu with several drinks listed. To look at this like an API, there’s an existing convention you can follow (i.e., the menu) to state your order and obtain a drink.
The menu as it’s presented to you is the interface. All the drinks listed on the menu are what the bartender has agreed to serve. When you ask for a certain drink on the menu, you receive it. But if you ask for something off the menu, such as a vodka martini instead of a gin martini, the bartender can’t provide it because it’s not something they agreed to serve.
Let’s say you want that gin martini delivered to your home. You call a delivery service and you order a martini that appears on the menu. When you order it, someone will tell the bartender your order, the bartender will make the martini and then someone will deliver it to your home. This is an example of an additional service (delivery) built on an “API” (the menu).
To relate this back to software, an API can help one application retrieve specific types of data from another. If the API doesn’t support certain types of data, it won’t be able to facilitate the retrieval of that “off-menu” data.
more granular estimates of Google AdWords advertiser ad bids
more emphasis on commercial oriented keywords
With the new columns of [ad spend] and [traffic value] here is how we estimate those.
paid search ad spend: search ad clicks * CPC
organic search traffic value: ad impressions * 0.5 * (100% - ad CTR) * CPC
The first of those two is rather self explanatory. The second is a bit more complex. It starts with the assumption that about half of all searches do not get any clicks, then it subtracts the paid clicks from the total remaining pool of clicks & multiplies that by the cost per click.
The new data also has some drawbacks:
Rather than listing search counts specifically it lists relative ranges like low, very high, etc.
Since it tends to tilt more toward keywords with ad impressions, it may not have coverage for some longer tail informational keywords.
For any keyword where there is insufficient coverage we re-query the old keyword database for data & merge it across. You will know if data came from the new database if the first column says something like low or high & the data came from the older database if there are specific search counts in the first column
For a limited time we are still allowing access to both keyword tools, though we anticipate removing access to the old keyword tool in the future once we have collected plenty of feedback on the new keyword tool. Please feel free to leave your feedback in the below comments.
One of the cool features of the new keyword tools worth highlighting further is the difference between estimated bid prices & estimated click prices. In the following screenshot you can see how Amazon is estimated as having a much higher bid price than actual click price, largely because due to low keyword relevancy entities other than the official brand being arbitraged by Google require much higher bids to appear on competing popular trademark terms.
Historically, this difference between bid price & click price was a big source of noise on lists of the most valuable keywords.
Recently some advertisers have started complaining about the "Google shakedown" from how many brand-driven searches are simply leaving the .com part off of a web address in Chrome & then being forced to pay Google for their own pre-existing brand equity.
When Google puts 4 paid ads ahead of the first organic result for your own brand name, you’re forced to pay up if you want to be found. It’s a shakedown. It’s ransom. But at least we can have fun with it. Search for Basecamp and you may see this attached ad. pic.twitter.com/c0oYaBuahL