Google Places API Adds 'Keyword search and Rank by distance' Search Refinements; DFA API v1.18 with 'In-Stream Video Creatives, Capping on Page Sizes'; DS3 Floodlight Column Reporting to All Released

The Google Places API allows web and mobile app developers to search Google's index of business listings and POI data -- today received a number of additional features. "Keyword search and rank by distance are available in both the Places API web service and in the places library of the JavaScript Maps API v3," posted […]

Google Developers

The Google Places API allows web and mobile app developers to search Google's index of business listings and POI data -- today received a number of additional features. "Keyword search and rank by distance are available in both the Places API web service and in the places library of the JavaScript Maps API v3," posted Thor Mitchell, Product Manager, Google Places API.

Per Mitchell blog post:

Keyword search
When searching for business it's often the case that you have very fine grained requirements. You don't just want a restaurant, you want a Mexican restaurant. You don't just want a clothes shop, you want a vintage clothes shop. You don't just a want a bar, you want a bar that offers live music.

The Google Places API offers filtering over 100 different types, including restaurant, clothing_store, and bar. As rich as this type scheme is, it can not cover the infinite range of fine grained requirements that you or your users might have.

For these situations the Places API now offers keyword search, which searches places based on an arbitrary text string. Results are matched against all the information that Google has about a business, including country specific categories, cuisine, and Google review content.

Keyword searches can also be combined with type filters. For example, you could add a type filter of 'bar' to a keyword search for 'wine' to ensure your search results include only drinking establishments, and not wine merchants.

Rank by distance
By default, the Google Places API orders the search results it returns using the same ranking algorithm as Google Maps, which prioritises places that are popular or prominent. This is great for local discovery and check-in apps, as these are the places likely to be the most interesting or relevant. However for certain types of search, such as gas stations or atms, the closest result is usually preferable.

To help with these use case the Places API can now rank results strictly by distance. In order to rank results by distance you must use some form of query or filter on the search. This can be a name filter, a type filter, or a keyword search. When results are ranked by distance it is not necessary to provide a search radius as the Places API will try to return the 20 closest results within reasonable distance.

You can find more information, Places API web service, and places library of the JavaScript Maps API v3.

Doubleclick

Also, the DFA API v1.18 now available adds support for In-Stream Video creatives and some assorted improvements, including better error messages and trimming out some unused fields.

Capping on Page Sizes: Google begin to enforce reasonable limits on the number of objects within an individual pages (also known as pageSize). "With the release of v1.18, the placement service's getPlacementsByCriteria operation is limited to a maximum of 1000 objects in a single page," posted DFA API Team.

Beginning June 2nd, 2012, the same limit also applies for the following operations: getSpotlightActivities; getCreativeFields; getCreativeFieldValues; getChangeLogRecords; getUsersByCriteria; getAds; getContacts.

"All affected operations will have a default page size of 1000 if a page size is not provided."

"With v1.18, version v1.16 is now deprecated and will continue to be supported until June 2nd, 2012, when it will be entirely removed from service, as previously announced," the team said. Meanwhile, version v1.17 will be deprecated in August and sunset in early September, 2012.

Finally, DoubleClick Search released the new "Floodlight column" reporting feature to all customers.

"The Floodlight column gives you more power to select the level of Floodlight reporting you want to see, in an easy-to-read column format. It allows you to create a column (such as Actions, Cost/action, etc.) that's filtered to the selected Floodlight activities. And you have all the same options as with other reporting columns, such as chart metrics, see the summary in the scorecard, sort, and download," explains DoubleClick Search team.

The team also announced the following updates:

Improved status and error messages for uploads: You'll now see real-time status updates in the Results column of the Uploads list in the UI, from processing in DS to items sent to the engine. When you start an upload, the Processing row line will tell you how many rows of the upload DS has analyzed. When the DS processing phase is complete, it will display the number of rows that were Booked on DS, as well as the number of Failed rows. DS will then attempt to send the booked items to the engine. DS will display Sent to engine, or the number of items that successfully made it to the engine, as well as the Failed items. Finally, when you click Download error sheet to see the changes that encountered errors, DS will now also include trafficking error messages. This provides even more data to help you troubleshoot upload issues.

Improvements to reporting table: "If you'd like to see more rows in the reporting table, click the arrow directly beneath the summary of data; the graph and summary will be hidden and replaced with more rows. We also reduced column width, which allows you to see more columns on the screens at once. In addition, you can now sort by the Status column," the team explained.