Google Adwords Account History

A little talk has been going around here and there about Adwords and how your account history/age can affect your bid prices and quality score. But what has a bigger impact, account age or CTR/spending history? In lieu of all of this, I did what is my favorite – tested. Here’s what I tested :

I have Account A – my personal and oldest Adwords account. I’ve had it for about a year now, it’s my oldest account and I’ve done the most testing in it. Overall CTR has been BAD before in this account (as I made plenty of noobie mistakes in it), but I’ve spent a good amount of cash in it. I’d put the overall account CTR (for search) at about 1%, not the best.

I also have Account B – an account for a company I own. This Adwords account is very new, just barely 2 months old. Although it is a much higher quality account. I’ve spent about the same as in my personal account A, and my overall CTR is around 8-10%.

Here’s where the fun comes in. I threw up a new campaign for business cards (not really a niche I do heavily right now, but I have a landing page for it) in account A and bid on just the very top keywords. I then put that exact same campaign into my corporate account B. Same keywords, landing page, ad copy, bid prices. Here are the results :

Account A – 1 Year Old Account

google adwords account snapshot


Account B – 2 Month Old Account

google adwords great quality score


As you can see, there’s a VERY nice difference between the accounts here. Account B has great quality scores and minimum bids $0.26 cheaper. With my $2.00 bid, ads for Account A would show up on the 2nd and 3rd page of search results, while Account B’s ads would show up at the top of page 1.

From this test, we can conclude that a more “productive” account in Google’s eyes will start you off with lower bids and better quality score. Account age isn’t everything, even with an account with an ok CTR and decent spending history.

Why is this post useful?

If you’re thinking “ok great…so how will this help me?”, well it may help you. If you have an account that’s really old but have had some bad quality and CTR on it in the past, it’s probably better just to start with a new fresh account instead of staying with your current one thinking that the bids will stay good because of the account age. In my case, my personal account will be used no more and if I wanted to run any more campaigns on it, I’d start fresh with a new account.

  • Daniel

    Wow! That is a big difference, and something that is very good to know. I am about to startup an AdWords campaign and was going to use my account that I have had forever, before I even knew about affiliate marketing and was just advertising my hosting company, not knowing anything about CTR, Quality scores, ad copy, etc. Guess I will be opening a new account here soon. Thanks for the tip Paul!

    Daniel B

  • Jonathan Volk

    That is a great piece of information there. :) I think I’ll go ahead and get a new adwords account to test myself. :)

  • John

    Let’s say you drop Account A and switch to Account B. If you delete all the campaigns in Account A and start advertising the same URL in Account B will Google penalize you? Will you get banned for advertising the same URL on multiple accounts?


    I doubt it, not 100% positive.

  • Caroline Middlebrook

    Wow that’s good to know. As somebody who hasn’t used Adwords yet I think based on this information I would probably start with a throwaway account expecting to make some rookie mistakes and then start over once I had learned the ropes a bit.

  • DenCha

    To be able to sign-up for a second Adwords account, do you need a different CC information other then the one you’re originally using for your first account?

  • Diorex

    One question – Did you use the exact same DURL for both ad copies?

    My experience has shown that even seemingly similar URLs can have dramatic differences in quality score minimum bids.


    DenCha – no you can use the same card.

    Diorex – yep, everything was exact. Interesting though.

  • Desmond

    So you can use the same card….do you need a new email address?


  • Konrad

    What’s your reasoning for saying that the min bids have any influence on the ranking whatsoever? The min bid is just that, a min bid, and doesn’t really matter if you are bidding $2.00 anyway.

  • Seanology

    I would also like to follow up on a previous commenter. What are the exact rules or TOS for owning multiple accounts? You say you can use the same credit card information, but does anything have to be different? Why would you not just have 10 different accounts for different campaigns then? Trying to understand the reasoning and rules. Thanks!

  • Alex

    Nice work….even a better find!

  • Jason G.

    I experienced the exact same results.

    Keep the exact same URL, ads, keywords… everything. Only variable change was the account. First account (“newbie-poor-CTR” account) was barely 2 months old, and the second (“New”) account was brand new, zero history.

    My “newbie-poor-CTR” rate account had $0.40 and $0.50 minimum bids, Poor to OK ratings. “New” account immediately got Great across the board with $0.04 and $0.05 bids. Now, some are down to $0.03 after merely a week.

    So yes, account history is a MAJOR factor in determining your quality score metrics. Thus, if you have a seasoned, well-performing account, it’s likely that you have a advantage over many AdWords advertisers.



    Yeah make a different email address for the account.

    Minimum bids don’t effect the position you’re right, I was just making it a point that they do lead to lower quality scores (like OK is $0.10, and lower than that is Great).

  • Desmond

    Does the page you send the traffic to has to have all of the keywords on that page? Taking your example with business cards lets assume you find 50 keywords with business cards lets just say green business cards, orange business cards, red business cards….would your landing page have to have all of those keywords on that page? Also would you have to use the keywords in your copy…I was always told its important to put the base keyword in the title and benefits in the ad.

    I cant wait to crack this code lol…its been kickin my @ss.


  • Konrad

    Ah ok, got you.

    But yeah, I experienced the same. My first account, that I basically got started on with PPC had a really poor CTR/performance (yeah, I tried adgroups with 2k keyword, did not work suprisingly enough :p), the best I could ever get on super targeted, low competition keywords/countries was .10. So I got a new account, let the old one go, and I’m enjoying min bids as low as .01.

    So for anyone that has the same account that they started PPC with (and most likely fucked the history up), do get a new one.

  • smaxor

    Great stuff. Did some testing myself and found similar results. So we know if you have a good account history this is going to help you with a campaign. However does this go across content and search networks alike? Basically if I got run a high converting Content network offer will this give me a lot of clout when I setup a Search offer?

  • Learn PHP

    That is awesome information. So, i could be bidding less or higher than my competitors and didn’t know. I wonder how you use can use this information in your over all scheme of things.


    Desmond – yep keywords are in the page as well as adcopy.

    smaxor – no, Google separates history between content and search network I believe. Bad content history won’t mess anything up for search.

  • Daniel

    Oh an Paul your “accout” in the title is missing an ‘N’
    just thought I would let you know

  • Desmond

    HOw often do you direct link? Or do you always create a relevant landing?


  • smaxor

    After reading this I ran a test the other night. I have my old account that sucks balls and was a learning account. I setup a campaign in it for Payday with a couple of the major words. Set the bids to $1.50 and waited about a week for something to happen as I thought something wasn’t right. Well after about 4-5 days I got a couple impressions showing up in position 150-170. So after reading the post I decided to opena new account and setup the exact same campaign. The primary keywords again same 1.50 bid and what do you know I was number 10 immediately. Pretty slick! Just for run I upped the bids to 5$/click and ran that for a while. Seems as that got me up to about spot 4-5. Of course 5$/click wasn’t profitable but it was nice to see that with a new account they give you enough respect to move you up and give you a shot.

    Moral of the story if you think you’re getting screwed on an account from the get go. Try setting up the same campaign in a new account because yours might be tainted. What’s it cost to open a new account 5$? Pretty cheap to test if you ask me.


  • invisible777

    i’m a little confused… i thought you aren’t allowed to open a second account unless you’re managing client accounts?

    if you can open a 2nd account, can you apply a voucher to it?

  • Adrian Singer

    Thanks Paul. You are right on the money.

    Linked to your post and provided more information about this topic.

  • Brent

    FYI, a while back, I wanted to start promoting two products with similar keywords lists, and wasn’t sure if opening another account to bid on the same keywords was “legal” under google standards. According to my rep at the time, as long as the “user experience” was different enough, then it’s allowed under google rules. Basically, you can’t open additional accounts for the sole purpose of owning a keyword in google for a particular product, but if you choose to promote 4 different brands of “blue widgets” and want to open 4 accounts to do it, you can. You need a different google account of course (and email with it) but can use the same CC number and indentifying information. Don’t feel like you have to hide it and when you get large enough to have a rep, let them know anytime you open a new account so they can tie it to you and help you push changes through when needed.

  • tyler dewitt

    Interesting post..

    It was the spending you did on account b and the CTR rate thats why it was so good :)

  • Dave King

    Ye. I’ve had to change accounts a few times now. I hate quality score’s!


  • Melissa

    Great post,
    what happens if Google have banned certain keywords on your account. Will this cause problems when opening a new adwords account, and is it even allowed?

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  • Jim

    Two questions:

    1. If I open a new Adwords account to solve my poor account history problem, can I use the same website or landing pages or will I need to send traffic to a new site or page? In other words – does the website also have a bad history?

    2. If I open a new Adwords account what willhappen to my Adsense account and Google sites that are linked to the Adwords account I am deleting? Will I need to change all my Adsense codes or start new blogs?

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  • Windows 7 Guy

    Thanks for sharing your adwords experiment. Very instructive.

    There are so many theories about how Google works, nothing like a definitive experiment to KNOW how it works!

  • rajesh

    i jus want to know is blogspot acount connect with adword acount and
    can i use free adword compaign coupon for my blogspot website.

  • Eyal Eldar

    Hey, thanks a lot – great test.
    Why is this post useful? – well what I need to do is change the time zone in a Google Analytics account, while connected to my AdWords account.
    The easiest solution is creating a new AdWords account (because the time zone cannot (ever) be changed. So this gives me good info for assessing the risk and deciding.

  • Robert

    I`m looking for aged adwords accounts, if you have one or more contact me, I pay real price for it:

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