We believe path1 and path2 used to be blank until early last week.  The " 
--" is something we started seeing only last week as our parsing code broke 
for exactly this reason.


On Tuesday, October 18, 2016 at 10:41:45 AM UTC+1, Dorian Kind wrote:
> Hi Anash,
> thanks for your response. Just as an addendum, there are already fields 
> that are formatted as empty in CSV reports (meaning just two commas in a 
> row) when they are not set—"CreativeDestinationUrl" is an example. So there 
> seems to be a certain inconsistency.
> Best regards,
> Dorian
> On Monday, October 17, 2016 at 9:22:00 PM UTC+2, Anash P. Oommen (AdWords 
> API Team) wrote:
>> Hi Dorian,
>> Thanks for reporting, I'll ask the reporting team to take a look.
>> Cheers,
>> Anash P. Oommen,
>> AdWords API Advisor.
>> On Monday, October 17, 2016 at 12:51:38 PM UTC-4, Dorian Kind wrote:
>>> Hi,
>>> I just noticed that with ETAs, the path1 and path2 fields are 
>>> optional—you can create an ad without either of these two fields set. This 
>>> is in contrast to the previously used text ads, where every field is 
>>> required.
>>> This has an interesting effect, as the CSV reports show unset path 
>>> fields as " --" (a space and two hyphens)—but you can also set either path 
>>> field to consist of two hyphens, which also causes the field in the report 
>>> to show a space and two hyphens.
>>> This means that theoretically, you can't tell from a CSV report whether 
>>> a path field of an expanded text ad is really empty or has been set as 
>>> "--". Here's an actual CSV report from a test account:
>>> Path 1,Path 2,Headline 1,Headline 2,Description
>>>  --, --,Headline 1,Headline 2,Empty path fields.
>>>  --, --,Headline 1,Headline 2,"Path fields set to ""--""."
>>> Total, --, --, --, --
>>> Now I freely admit that this is a contrived scenario, but I wonder 
>>> whether it would be possible to leave the field empty instead of using " 
>>> --".
>>> Seeing as " --" usually means "Not applicable" in the CSV reports (it's 
>>> mainly used if a metric doesn't have a meaningful aggregate in the totals 
>>> line, for example), I feel a clear distinction would be helpful.
>>> Any thoughts on this matter?
>>> Best regards,
>>> Dorian

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