Many have noticed that Amazon shut down their Product Advertising API (Application Programming Interface) version 4 and introduced Amazon Product Advertising API 5. The interface in this situation is for Amazon’s vast product database.
Most of us (myself included) never knew until now that different versions of Amazon’s API even existed! I had no idea that they had versions 1 through 3. I didn’t realize that the current version I’ve been using regularly is version 4. Nevertheless, API 4 came to an end, and Amazon requires all of its current users to convert to the new version pa-api 5.0 or API 5 for short.
Amazon’s API version 4 was active until March 9th, 2020. After that, the interface was turned off, and version 5 took its place. Unfortunately, anyone who didn’t convert to the new version before then won’t be able to use the API.
Communicating with version 4 API will no longer be possible. API 5 is Amazon’s most recent upgraded and updated version. The API lets Amazon Associates integrate their websites with Amazon’s databases so that they can use information about products that are sold on Amazon’s site to display them on their sites.
Amazon’s API is used by various Amazon affiliate plugins such as AAWP, AmaLinksPro, Content Egg, WooZone, ThirstyAffiliates, etc. Even WordPress Amazon affiliate themes use API and tools like Genius, which can be used to automatically localize Amazon affiliate links, among many other features.
To use one of those plugins, themes, and tools, you’ll need to enter your Amazon API key information into the settings so that you can access Amazon descriptions, images, products, affiliate links, etc. and display them on your site.
How Will This Affect My Website?
Any Amazon links that you currently have that use the old API will stop working. You have to upgrade to API 5. If you’re using a plugin or other tool to connect with Amazon’s API, that plugin must also update their code as well.
Fortunately, there are proactive steps that you can take to be compatible with API 5 and continue using plugins such as Content Egg. If your Amazon affiliate credentials were created after September 30th, 2017, you are good to go, and you do not need to take any action. If your credentials were generated after that date, then you need to generate new credentials.
Credentials were previously created through Amazon’s Web Services (AWS). That’s where I created my Amazon API affiliate keys years ago. I’ve been using those same credentials ever since. Apparently, September 30th, 2017 is the date when the API credential generation process was moved from AWS to the Amazon Associates dashboard.
Basically – if you created your API credentials from within your Amazon Associates dashboard by going into the Tools menu in your Amazon Associates dashboard and then selected the “Product Advertising API” option to create your credentials, then you are probably good to go. However, if you generated your credentials using AWS two years ago or longer, you’ll need to create brand new credentials.
Here’s how you can check to see if your credentials are compatible with PA API 5 using the Amazon ‘Scratchpad‘ :
- Click on the “Start Tour” option to get the tour of the Scratchpad. Refer to Scratchpad’s user guide section if you have any questions about it.
- If you receive either a “AccessDeniedAwsUsers” or “AccessDeniedException” code, this means that your credentials have to be updated.
Your prior credentials will still stay valid for three days when you migrate the Product Advertising API account from Amazon Web Services. After that time has elapsed, your old credentials won’t work with the Product Advertising API anymore.
Upgrading To Amazon Product Advertising API 5.0
Upgrading from Amazon API version 4 to Amazon API 5 is not hard. If you’re like me and had your Amazon API Credentials created on AWS, you will need to generate new API key.
Start by logging into your Amazon Associates account. Go to the Tools menu and choose the “Product Advertising API” selection.
Scroll down to the “Manage Your Credentials” option. Click on the “Migrate” button.
On the next pop-up, click on the “Continue” button.
Click on the Next button that appears to download your credentials. Save this file in a location where you won’t lose it. You won’t be able to download these credentials again, so it’s important to store them somewhere safe. If they’re lost, then you’ll have to create new credentials all over again.
Go to the Content Egg plugin or any other plugin or active applications that currently use Amazon API keys and replace your old credentials with the new credentials. Be noted that for newly created API keys, wait for at least 48 hours for the keys to become active.
IMPORTANT CHANGES TO AMAZON AFFILIATE PROGRAM
Until the beginning of 2020, after your account was verified, you could generate an API key and use it without any restrictions. However, Amazon made some changes regarding their affiliate program. Some of those changes include:
- Any new API keys that are generated will only start working after 48 hours.
- New affiliate accounts now need to have their website verified and have to have at least three sales before their API keys can be used.
- Accounts will lose access to Amazon’s Product Advertising API if they haven’t generated at least three referring sales using Product Advertising API over the last thirty days.
- New accounts are limited to 8,640 requests per day. The limit per account is set according to its Product API revenue numbers over the last 30 days.
Any account that doesn’t comply with the new rules will start to see an error message. The error message will appear in the plugin’s API settings page. The message that appears will say “Request Throttled – Something went wrong. Please check your API keys.”
Be sure also to check posts about Amazon Associates program:
- How to set up Amazon OneLink and using one link refer users to Amazon store locale based on visitor IP?
- Amazon affiliate commission rate changes (Amazon recently again reduced affiliate commissions)
- Amazon affiliate guide – everything you need to know
- How to easily receive Amazon affiliate payments anywhere in the world
Hopefully, this guide on how to update to Amazon Product Advertising API 5 was helpful. If you have any questions, let me know in the comments below.
DISCLOSURE: My posts may contain affiliate links. If you buy something through one of those links, I might get a small commission, without any extra cost to you. Read more about it here.