Generate and add keyword variations using AdWords API


AdWords is Google's flagship advertising product. AdWords offers pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, and site-targeted advertising for both text and banner ads.

The Google AdWords API lets developers build applications that interact directly with the AdWords platform. With these applications, advertisers and third parties can more efficiently and creatively manage their large or complex AdWords accounts and campaigns.

The key object in AdWords system is Keyword - word that triggers an Ad. Ads and Keywords are grouped underneath parent object - AdGroup. Each keyword in some AdGroup can trigger any of the Ads in that AdGroup.

Example: Let's say that in AdGroup A are keyword X and Ad Y. When some user enters into Google's search engine word X, AdWords system will show Ad Y.

This article will explain how to programmatically add Keywords under some AdGroup. Presented is an application that adds all combinations of certain set of keywords under specified AdGroup. For that purpose application can use one of the following libraries:


Keyword is an object that specifies on which searches would be some Ad shown. Keyword is composed of two properties: Text and MatchType.

MatchType closely define some Keyword. MatchType can have on of the following values:

  • Exact
  • Phrase
  • Broad

Using Match Type user can specify which variations of Text will trigger some Ad. Although keyword that has Broad match will be triggered by the largest set of search words, it's the most expensive. On the other hand keyword with Exact match will be triggered only if user searches for the word that is equal to the value that was specified by the Text property. Each of those approaches has some advantages and disadvantages.

AdWordsKeywordGenerator app shows one approach that combines Match types that are provided by the AdWords platform.


AdWordsKeywordGenerator takes set of words and makes all combination with those words. After that it uploads them to the AdWords system.

For example, if user specifies words "summer" and "hot", AdWordsKeywordGenerator will upload keywords:

  • Summer (Exact match)
  • Hot (Exact match)
  • Summer hot (Exact match)
  • Hot summer (Exact match)

One of the biggest advantages in this approach is that we can review statistics for each phrase. We could add only one word and specify Broad match, but then we couldn't examine statistic for one specific phrase (in this sample, we couldn't distinguish phrase "hot" from other phrases).

Picture 1: AdWords Keyword Generator.

To use application follow these steps:

  1. Specify Account Information - information that is needed for logging. Help on this is here
  2. Specify API library that you want to use
  3. Specify AdGroup in which you want to add new keywords
  4. Add Source Words - words that you want to combine
  5. Generate Keywords - this will combine Source words
  6. Upload New Keywords


AdWordsKeywordGenerator is WPF application written in C# using Visual Studio 2008.

Typical application workflow is:

  • Generating combinations of words
  • Uploading combinations:
    • Logging to AdWords platform
    • Getting AdGroup
    • Adding new Keywords to AdGroup
    • Uploading changes to AdWords platform

Generating combinations of words

For Generating combination of words we use class KeywordGenerator. It has method GenerateCombinations that accepts list of source words, makes combinations and returns them in a new list.

Uploading combinations

For uploading combinations we can use two different libraries: google-api-adwords-dotnet (GoogleLibraryUploader class) and 3rd party AdWords .NET API (GemBoxPpcUploader class).


Uploading new keywords using google-api-adwords-dotnet is made of the following steps:

  • Logging to AdWords platform
  • Downloading all AdGroups
  • Selecting specified AdGroup
  • Creating new Keywords
  • Uploading new keywords

Here's the complete code:

internal class GoogleLibraryUploader : IUploader


    // User.

    private AdWordsUser user;


    // Login.

    public void Login(string email, string password, string developerToken, string applicationToken, string userAgent,

        bool useSandbox, string clientCustomerIdOrClientEmail)


        // This can be set in config file. = email;

        ApplicationConfiguration.password = password;

        ApplicationConfiguration.developerToken = developerToken;

        ApplicationConfiguration.applicationToken = applicationToken;


        if (clientCustomerIdOrClientEmail.Contains('@'))

            ApplicationConfiguration.clientEmail = clientCustomerIdOrClientEmail;


            ApplicationConfiguration.clientCustomerId = clientCustomerIdOrClientEmail;


        ApplicationConfiguration.adWordsApiUrl = useSandbox ? "" : "";


        this.user = new AdWordsUser();



    // Upload keywords to AdGroup.

    public void UploadKeywordsToAdGroup(string campaignName, string adGroupName, IList<string> keywords)


        // Get AdGroupService.

        AdGroupService adGroupService = (AdGroupService)this.user.GetService(AdWordsService.v200909.AdGroupService);


        // Get All AdGroups

        AdGroupPage page = adGroupService.get(new AdGroupSelector());


        // Select specified AdGroup.

        AdGroup adGroup = page == null || page.entries == null ? null :

            page.entries.FirstOrDefault(x => x.campaignName == campaignName && == adGroupName);


        if (adGroup == null)

            throw new System.ApplicationException("AdGroup with name " + adGroupName + " doesn't exists!");


        // Create AdGroupCriterionOperations with new keywords.

        List<AdGroupCriterionOperation> operations = new List<AdGroupCriterionOperation>();

        foreach (string keyword in keywords)


            // Create AdGroupCriterion

            AdGroupCriterion criterion = new BiddableAdGroupCriterion()


                    adGroupId =,

                    adGroupIdSpecified = true,

                    criterion = new Keyword()


                        text = keyword,

                        matchType = KeywordMatchType.EXACT,

                        matchTypeSpecified = true




            // Create AdGroupCriterionOperation

            AdGroupCriterionOperation keywordOperation = new AdGroupCriterionOperation()


                @operator = Operator.ADD,

                operatorSpecified = true,

                operand = criterion



            // Ad operation to the list.




        // Get AdGroupCriterionService

        AdGroupCriterionService adGroupCriterionService =



        // Upload new keywords.





Uploading new keywords using GemBox.Ppc AdWords API is made of the following steps:

  • Logging to AdWords platform
  • Specifying that component download data on demand
  • Selecting specified AdGroup
  • Creating new Keywords
  • Uploading new keywords

Here's the complete code:

internal class GemBoxPpcUploader : IUploader


    // Account (contains user)

    private AwAccount account;


    static GemBoxPpcUploader()


        // Set license. We use free version of GemBox.Ppc.




    // Login.

    public void Login(string email, string password, string developerToken, string applicationToken, string userAgent,

        bool useSandbox, string clientCustomerIdOrClientEmail)


        // Create Account.

        this.account = new AwAccount(new AwUser(email, password, developerToken, applicationToken, userAgent, useSandbox, clientCustomerIdOrClientEmail))


            // This enables automatic downloading so we don't need to call Download() method.

            DownloadLazy = true




    // Upload keywords to AdGroup.

    public void UploadKeywordsToAdGroup(string campaignName, string adGroupName, IList<string> keywords)


        if (this.account == null)

            throw new ApplicationException("You haven't login to account!");


        // Get Campaing.

        Campaign camp = this.account.Campaigns.SingleOrDefault(x => x.Name == campaignName);

        if (camp == null)

            throw new ApplicationException("Campaign with name " + campaignName + " doesn't exists!");


        // Get AdGroup.

        AdGroup adGroup = camp.AdGroups.SingleOrDefault(y => y.Name == adGroupName);

        if (adGroup == null)

            throw new ApplicationException("AdGroup with name " + adGroupName + " doesn't exists!");


        // Add new Keywords.

        foreach (string keyword in keywords)

            adGroup.Criterions.Add(new BiddableAdGroupCriterion()


                    Criterion = new Keyword()


                        Text = keyword,

                        MatchType = KeywordMatchType.EXACT




        // Upload changes.





As always in programming, there is more than one method to achieve the same thing.

Google api-adwords-dotnet is a set of proxy classes built from WSDLs plus some extra classes that enables logging to AdWords platform. It is completely free but it is not completely optimized for .NET platform and requires some manual work (casting, setting xxxSpecified properties, different ids, etc).

On the other hand, GemBox.Ppc is optimized for .NET, encapsulates different AdWords services and provides many utilities out of the box. However, Free version has limitations.

Useful links

There are many ways to generate new keywords. GemBoxPpcUploader shows only one way of it, but user can easily extend application and add custom variations. For extending the application, following links could help:

Download links

You can download the latest version of the demo application (together with the C# source code) from here.

About the Author

Josip Kremenic

Josip Kremenic works as a developer at GemBox Software. He primarily works on GemBox.Spreadsheet - an Excel .NET component for reading and writing XLS, XLSX, CSV, HTML and ODS files, and on GemBox.Ppc - Advanced AdWords API for .NET.


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