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Increased AdWords Account Limits

Under the radar, Google has quietly raised AdWords account limits. Accounts can now get boosted to include up to 500 campaigns and 3 million keywords. Previously accounts were limited to 100 campaigns and 1 million keywords.

If you wanted to expand beyond that, you had to open new accounts. This was a headache because you’d need to work out tracking, billing, and access requirements for the new accounts. That required putting new scripts on your website; handling credit cards or invoicing agreements; and getting together new Google users, possibly implementing a sub-MCC.

In the past it also meant that your additional accounts wouldn’t be linked to a Google Analytics account. Though, nowadays, you can also link multiple AdWords accounts to a single Analytics account.

Making Account Management Easier

While for very large marketing efforts, separation at the account level may make sense, in all likelihood, going through the effort of starting new accounts to accommodate AdWords limits is going to make maintenance, error-checking, and reporting more difficult.

If you’re implementing over 100 campaigns, some of them are probably close copies of one another with different targeting settings. For example, sites for local businesses might be targeting mobile separate from other devices. Or if your business targets multiple locations that perform differently and have different ad requirements, these would also be separated into different campaigns that are similar to each other.

Bulk changes using the AdWords Editor becomes a multi-step operation with multiple campaigns. Even with accounts consolidated under a single MCC, running reports across multiple accounts, implementing changes, or understanding how the targeting might overlap between different campaigns in different accounts becomes a more robust task.

A quick lookup or troubleshooting becomes not so quick anymore. So it’s good that AdWords is making efforts to accommodate larger accounts. (Although with so much duplication within larger accounts, it also is surprising that a better management option hasn’t surfaced that eliminates the need to increase account limits.)

Getting the Maximum Limits

To get the maximum limits for an account that has the default settings, you still have to consult with a Google AdWords Representative, requesting a boost. If you have an account that should be using limits that are this high, you most likely are already in contact Google Reps about other things.

You know that you need a boost if you get account limit errors from AdWords Editor when you try to post new additions. But what this doesn’t tell you is if you’re wasting your time filling your account with clutter or if you’re sincerely in need of more, more, more.

Which accounts should be using the new limits? Whenever you notice performance differences by network or device, it’s always a good idea to separate campaigns out to single out targeting. It’s also a good idea to keep a healthy keyword list, to be sure that all of the relevant queries trigger your ads.

In well-organized ad groups it’s fairly easy to maintain a large number of keywords. But unless you have a million products, or hundreds of business locations, you’re not going to need anywhere near the account limit of keywords and campaigns.

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About Steve Loszewski

Steve Loszewski leads the paid search team at Pure Visibility. He is individually qualified in AdWords, has the Google Analytics Individual Qualification, is an Oracle Database 10g Administrator Certified Associate, and is a Sun Certified Programmer for the Java Platform SE 6. Steve has been managing AdWords accounts since 2005 and also has experience in SEO. Most of his time is spent in the trenches, working with keywords, ads, bids, landing pages, placements, etc within the AdWords Interface. You can find him on Google+.

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