While speaking to businesses about their PPC Agencies we often come across this painful scenario where the businesses do not own their Adwords accounts.

Most of them realize this too late in the game i.e when they want to hire someone else to manage their PPC campaigns.

The existing agency simply refuses to transfer the ownership of their Adwords account, asking them to start with a new one.

Why do PPC agencies do this? What difference does it really make if you start with a new adwords account anyway?

There are a few industry secrets your agency may not want you to know. Every single business and their their key stakeholders (marketing managers, CMOs) that hires a PPC agency should know the following:

    • Campaign Performance Data Is An Invaluable Asset: The months (or years) of campaign performance stats in your adwords account is a very sensitive data that should only be owned by you or your organization. If you spent millions of dollars to obtain this data, you want to make sure you keep the learnings for your organization.
    • Should This Data Fall In The Hands Of Your Competitors? Imagine what could happen if this data falls in the hands of your competitors. Your competitors can access keyword data, success of those keywords, and market trends to fine tune their performance.
    • Account History Plays A Key Role In Campaign Performance: Google uses account history data in quality score that is critical to campaign performance. A poor quality score could increase your costs and reduce ROI.
    • You Could Be Locked-In With A Poorly Performing Agency: Many agencies are stuck in a scarcity mindset and lock-in their clients whereas delivering better results and higher ROI should be how they continue to earn back your business over time.
    • Why Re-Invent the Wheel? Without your previous adwords account your new PPC agency would literally have to re-invent the wheel. The agency would have to start with keyword research, create the keyword themes, and set up campaign structure without an historical performance. With account history they could save this legwork and build upon what’s already been done.
    • Your Cost Of Advertising Would Increase: Without the rewards of past performance from Google, your campaigns would have to bid higher on your target keywords to achieve the same rankings the that could have been achieved with lower bids on the old account. Therefore in short run your cost of advertising could significantly increase. You also have to spend the same dollars to learn a lot of the same lessons learned.
    • Transparency of Data And Reports: With full access to your adwords account you can see real time performance data, therefore forcing the agency to send transparent reports. We have come across cases where the agency kept on sending the clients excel sheet reports with fudged-up reports. Reputed agencies are least likely to do it but why take a chance? Also, you can see the change history on an account, just to see what is actually being done on an account.


  • Although a PPC agency outrightly refusing to transfer the ownership of your PPC account is an extreme scenario, we’ve come across it on several occasions. Here some of the excuses you might hear from them say:


    • The adwords account is a created under our manager account and therefore it can’t be unlinked. This however not the case anymore. An adwords account can be unlinked from a manager account by making you an administrator and removing their own access.
    • The adwords account is setup under our agency credit line therefore it can’t be unlinked. Not true. The billing settings can be changed anytime for an adwords account.  
    • The adwords account is our intellectual property as it contains our work. This can be a tricky as one as it does contain their work however the account essentially belongs to you.
    • If we give you access, you can see all our client accounts. Not true, you can gain access, just to your own account.
    • Agencies will say that they have to create your account under their manager account saying they get special promotional codes. Fortunately, you can still apply these promotional codes under your account as well.

      How Could Businesses Avoid This Tricky Situation? Here are the guidelines:

    • The simplest way to ensure you will always have the ownership of your account is by creating your own Adwords Manager Account and providing them access to manage it. We always tell our clients to create the account, then share it with us.
    • Review your contracts and make sure the contract terms are crystal clear on how the adwords account will be created and how the account ownership will be transferred to you in case the contract is terminated.
    • Manage adwords billing yourself if you plan to advertise for long term and your monthly budget is over $5000. Put your own credit card on file so you know exactly what is going out.


    We absolutely hate seeing agencies take advantage of companies just because they do not know any better. Make sure you come to the table prepared and don’t always believe everything you are being told. Lack of trust is not the best way to start off a relationship, but it will help protect you in the long run.

    It’s important to make sure you are taken care of and not taken advantage of as you move forward!

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