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The 9 Best Google APIs, and How to Use Them

Nov 02, 2022
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When it comes to developing and releasing APIs, few companies are as prolific as Google (Alphabet).

If you’re wondering how many APIs Google has, let us break it to you: It’s 246. 

Yes, you read that correctly!

With a staggering number of 246 APIs listed in the Google APIs Explorer site, Google has made incredible efforts to provide developers with the resources to make the most out of their services.

While all Google APIs serve a purpose, it can be hard to navigate the entire list and understand which ones are the best to automate processes and give your business a boost.

This happens for a variety of reasons, such as:

  • Accessibility: Some APIs are restricted to enterprise accounts.

  • Price: Some APIs are free, and others are paid.

  • Use cases: Some APIs are very niche, and others provide a broad range of applications.

Taking this into consideration, we decided to comb through the full list of Google APIs and pick the nine best ones based on the criteria specified above (accessibility, price, potential use cases).

Now, let’s take a look at the best Google APIs, and how you can leverage them to automate tasks and processes across your business.

1. Google Sheets API

The Google Sheets API is perhaps the most used Google API there is. And rightly so, as it’s easy to access, free, and incredibly flexible.

The number of use cases for the Google Sheets API is quite staggering.

You can rely on it to automatically gather data from your ecommerce store, save information that you deem crucial, and even create a ticketing system from scratch.

Since most businesses use spreadsheets in one way or another, the Google Sheets API is the logical next step to automate tasks and improve productivity across the board.

Accessibility: Anyone with a Google account can access the Google Sheets API.

Price: Free and without extra charges for exceeding quotas.

Use cases: Multiple, can be counted in the hundreds.

2. Google Calendar API

Calendar automation is popular among salespeople, but in reality anyone running activities on a tight schedule can benefit from an automated Google Calendar.

This means creating Calendar events after something happens in another app (such as receiving an email), reminding others about upcoming events, or perhaps creating tasks out of Calendar events in project management apps.

For those who juggle multiple calendars and events on a regular basis, the Google Calendar API allows to spend less time on the calendar, and more time in the real action.

Accessibility: Anyone with a Google account can access the Google Calendar API.

Price: Free and without extra charges for exceeding quotas.

Use cases: Syncing calendars, automatically creating events, sending notifications about events.

3. Google Analytics API

Diving into Google Analytics to check for traffic data is routine for many people out there, ranging from solo bloggers to marketing professionals and advertising specialists.

The amount of time spent on going through analytics dashboards and reports is quite high and doesn’t make much sense when you can get the data delivered to wherever you want automatically.

This is where the Google Analytics API becomes useful.

For example, the template below allows you to automatically receive (and send) Google Analytics reports with yesterday’s outputs (whichever you choose) to your Slack channel of choice.

Accessibility: Anyone with a Google account (and a website) can access the Google Analytics API.

Price: Free, with limits for the amount of data you can request.

Use cases: Analytics reporting, notifying colleagues and teams, setting alerts for events (such as sudden spikes or decreases in traffic).

4. Google Forms API

The amount of people that spend time collecting and consolidating data from their Google Forms is astounding - and also the reason why the Google Forms API is so relevant.

With it, you can automatically send form answers to wherever and whoever you want: Spreadsheets, salespeople, data visualization tools, you name it.

Moreover, there’s more you can do with the Google Forms API by combining it with other APIs. 

Examples include validating email addresses provided in the answers, creating subscribers for your email blasts, and transforming form answers into PDF files.

Accessibility: Anyone with a Google account can access the Google Forms API.

Price: Free and without extra charges for exceeding quotas.

Use cases: Collecting answers, searching for trends in answers, adding records and users to CRMs and email marketing platforms.

5. Gmail API

Gmail is an incredibly powerful email client, and much of its prowess comes from the Gmail API.

To put it simply, if any process or task involves Gmail, chances are that the email step can be automated. 

Whether it’s drafting messages, backing up your email inbox, or automatically forwarding new emails based on the criteria you specify, the Gmail API will come in handy.

Accessibility: Anyone with a Google account can access the Gmail API.

Price: Free but with usage limits.

Use cases: Creating and sending email messages, backing up data, triggering processes from received emails.

6. Google Docs API

This is one of our favorite APIs, as it provides users with the ability to automatically create all kinds of documents without lifting a finger.

When we say “all kinds of documents”, we really mean it: Resumes, sales quotes, and contracts are the go-to use cases, but there’s no limit to what you can create with the wonderful Google Docs API.

Accessibility: Anyone with a Google account can access the Google Docs API.

Price: Free and without extra charges for exceeding quotas.

Use cases: Creating documents automatically, checking documents for keywords and mistakes, retrieving sets of documents, deleting documents.

7. Google Ads, Campaign Management API

The Campaign Management API is a subset of endpoints that belong to the broader Google Ads API, and represents an amazing opportunity for anyone that routinely works on Google Ads campaigns.

How so? Simple: It allows you to automate many of the key tasks campaigns demand, from keyword research to pausing/activating campaigns and reporting. 

The template below is a good example of how to get campaign performance data automatically, cutting the middle people from having updated, accessible data right when and where you need it.

Accessibility: Anyone with a Google Ads account can access the Google Ads Campaign Management API.

Price: Free, but with limitations; charges may apply when exceeding these.

Use cases: Keyword research, reporting, and management of Google Ads campaigns. 

8. Google Drive API

There’s a moment in everyone’s professional life when having a well-organized cloud storage space becomes a must.

At this point, some start paying special attention to folder structures, paths, and whatnot. 

Others just turn to the Google Drive API to automate all of this, avoiding all the hassle of having to deal with an ever-expanding storage space. 

Tasks like creating, moving, sharing, and deleting folders and files can all be automated thanks to the Google Drive API, and it’s easy to do so with Make. 

Accessibility: Anyone with a Google account can access the Google Drive API.

Price: Free and without extra charges for exceeding quotas.

Use cases: Storing, sharing, creating, and updating files and folders, transforming files into different formats, and backing up key data automatically.

9. Google Cloud Speech-to-Text API

As video and audio continue to grow as the main sources of content worldwide, the task of transcribing speech into text takes a whole new dimension.

Transcriptions are not only costly and lengthy but also crucial to make content accessible to anyone, everywhere.

The Speech-to-Text API is instrumental in saving you valuable time by automating the conversion of audio files into text. 

Podcasters, YouTubers, course creators and beyond can benefit from this amazing API to automate all transcription work at once, for a fraction of what is costs to do it manually. 

Accessibility: To use this API, you’ll need a Google Account, a project in the Google Cloud Console, and enable billing in Cloud Console.

Price: The first 60 minutes of audio are free; charges apply after you exceed this limit.

Use cases: Transcribing audio files automatically, ranging from messages to podcasts.

Final words: How to use Google APIs

In order to start using Google APIs, you have two initial options: First, you can code through them and rely on the native endpoint structures Google provides to interact with the APIs.

The second option is to rely on Make to use the APIs. 

As you have probably noticed, we included several Make templates in the article that show how easy it is to use the Google APIs with Make. 

These templates are readily available to all Make users, and require minimum configuration to perform the task they were built for.

On top of ease of use, Make allows you to standardize all API usage in one platform. 

In other words, doing this will spare you from having to deal with different integration methods and API structures to automate what you want.

If you’re curious about Google APIs and want to start reaping the benefits of automation, all you need to do is get your Make account.

Once ready, it’ll only take a few moments to see actual results!

senior-content-writer-saas

Martin Etchegaray

Senior Content Writer and Editor at Make. I enjoy writing and reading about history, science, and tech.

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