AdWords
4.4K members online now
4.4K members online now
Get started with AdWords - learn the basics to get set up for success
Guide Me
star_border
Reply

Multiple accounts in a large organisation competing for same keywords

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi there,

 

I work for a large University which is made up of a collection of 6 colleges spread across a major capital city.  Many of these colleges teach similar subjects but in 'different' ways. However in terms of keywords there is a lot of overlap. Historically, these colleges all came together 30 years ago to be under one University banner, but still have separate identities and autonomy.  But as time goes by the University brand is becoming more prevalent than the college ones and I think we are arguably near the 50/50 stage.

 

Each college has their own Adword accounts and are running campaigns at the same time as other colleges within the university. Some colleges have multiple adword accounts promoting different level courses (pre-college, undergraduate and postgraduate) with the same subject and brand keywords.

 

The University has one domain with each college living in a separate subdomain.

 

Question 1: Is this one of those exceptions that Google allows multiple Adwords accounts for one subdomain? 

 

Question 2: Would the 'competing' against each other for keywords cause an increase in spend either from more than one college being in the same auction or excluding one or more sister college from any given auction?

 

Many thanks in advance,

 

Stewart

 

 

3 Expert replyverified_user
1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions
Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author Stewart S
February 2016

Re: Multiple accounts in a large organisation competing for same keywo

[ Edited ]
Rising Star
# 13
Rising Star

Hi Guys,

@petebardo - Thanks for the support on this. I knew that this was something that not everyone would agree upon but is something that I have experienced personally and can confirm because I have brought up the same query with our Google rep's.

@MosheTLV - You are absolutely right about the recent changes in the policies with respect to Double Serving. I mentioned double serving here to inform the users of the same and how the new policy affects our ad serving capabilities. Just ONE ad per top level domain will certainly affect some advertisers (like it did with my client) and calls for a change in strategy when it comes to starting a AdWords campaign for a particular activation.

@Stewart - Has our conversation here helped you figure out what you need to do?

Hope this Helps!

Cheers
Shashank

Cheers,
Shashank Singh, AdWords Rising Star |
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please hit "Like" or "Accept as Solution"

View solution in original post

Re: Multiple accounts in a large organisation competing for same keywo

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

@Stewart S;

The key to understand whether there might be a violation of "gain unfair advantage" is the audience targeted, and the "independence" of the business entity:

Are these colleges targeting the same audience (e.g. 18-21 years old) AND  whether each which college is a business unit of its own (e.g  separate budget and an independent   admission process)?

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer’

Re: Multiple accounts in a large organisation competing for same keywo

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Thanks for the quick reply. There is just one admissions system for the undergrad and postgrad and the colleges only have separate budgets based on the number of students they have. But a decent percentage is retains by the central University to cover central costs incl. an international marketing department. Each college also has its own individual 'business unit' all under the same registered company umbrella (directors are the heads of colleges (vice-chancellors and the overall university chancellor) using the same Ecommerce and finance systems. These units all target the same or similar markets. There is a lot of duplication of course titles between each unit. Overall all budgets come under the main university umbrella with one single finance function with local and central parts and each college is treated just as a different 'department'. This isn't just a rule question. Would we be better off just having one central Google Adwords and covering all the different keywords, college brands, and locations on a rotating basis or keep with separate accounts?

Re: Multiple accounts in a large organisation competing for same keywo

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor

@Stewart S;

Are these colleges overlapping in the Geo targeting? I.e. The campaigns by different colleges   target the same geographic regions? OR each college targets a different territory?

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer’

Re: Multiple accounts in a large organisation competing for same keywo

Rising Star
# 5
Rising Star
Hi Stewart,

I think the answers to your questions lay in Moshes reply. If at all the following holds true for all of the individual AdWords accounts then, yes, your accounts are competing against each other.

1. All of them target the same set of keyword themes (including Univ. Brand keywords or Generic Keywords or any other keyword themes)
2. All of the accounts target the same Geo's (For Example - All of the accounts target London as a city of interest with the same set of keywords)
3. The Demographic targeting for all of the accounts are the same (Example - Age Group - 18-30 , English Speaking, etc.)

However, there is something that I would like to mention here. AdWords considers Domains and not Subdomains when it checks for accounts competing against each and to flag a violation of the Double Serving Policy. This means that since all of your accounts use sub domains of the University site, all of them are in fact competing against each other BUT only if the above 3 conditions are satisfied. Lastly, one last piece of information for you here (and this is something that I have verified with a Google Rep), in a scenario such as yours when multiple AdWords accounts are competing against each other, only ONE accounts among the competing accounts get to serve their ads on the SERP.

In short, ad(s) only from any ONE of your competing accounts will be served depending on your bid, relevance, QS and any other metric that goes into deciding which ads get served by the Google. Earlier, Google would have flagged your domain under the Double serving policy and as a last resort suspend your domain and account but this is a recent change where you are not penalized but are allowed to continue serving ads but only one of your ads will be featured.

One way to get around this problem is to create separate domains for each of your universities or schools and then serve ads using those domains.

Would love to hear from the other experts on this.

Hope this Helps!

Cheers
Shashank
Cheers,
Shashank Singh, AdWords Rising Star |
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please hit "Like" or "Accept as Solution"

Re: Multiple accounts in a large organisation competing for same keywo

Top Contributor
# 6
Top Contributor

@ShashankSingh;

>>", there is something that I would like to mention here. AdWords considers Domains and not Subdomains when it checks for accounts competing against each and to flag a violation of the Double Serving Policy

 

Since the new version of the Policy was published, and the update of double serving to "gaining unfair advantage" - this does NOT hold anymore.

The parameters  to check "gain unfair advantage" are: the audience targeted, the product /service sold and the Geo targeted area.

Hence, your conclusion that "In short, ad(s) only from any ONE of your competing accounts will be served depending on your bid, relevance,"  applies only if one account is used (which is not the case)

 

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer’

Re: Multiple accounts in a large organisation competing for same keywo

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 7
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Hi Shashank, Thank you for your reply. I am not surprised at your answer. Yes, very helpful. My thinking is that we need a central digital promotion unit handling all Adwords and other social media advertising so it can be co-ordinated though one account even if that account has college-based sub divisions organised in it so we can rotate ads and control the issue of only one college showing up as decided by Google. What do you think? Any other solutions? We already have SERPS issues where certain subjects only return results for ONE college and the other colleges do not show up. I think this is due to our IA where courses are listed by college in the sub-domains. We have started to call this 'keyword eclipsing' when Google indexes one sub-domain and finds a 'high score' for a certain keyword or groups of keywords and then does either not index the other subdomains or excludes them as weaker duplications. Much the same as you describe for the Adwords. This has been going on since we moved from separate college domains into one single University Domain in 2013 and we have seen significant and consistent drop in organic traffic for some colleges. We are looking for advice on how to fix this issue as well. Is there any way I can cross post this issue with the Analytics board? Best, Stewart

Re: Multiple accounts in a large organisation competing for same keywo

Top Contributor
# 8
Top Contributor

@Stewart S;

Are these colleges overlapping in the Geo targeting? I.e. The campaigns by different colleges   target the same geographic regions? OR each college targets a different territory?

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer’

Re: Multiple accounts in a large organisation competing for same keywo

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 9
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
same geographic regions.

Re: Multiple accounts in a large organisation competing for same keywo

Top Contributor
# 10
Top Contributor

@Stewart S;

So, if a competing  university, which  targets  the same audience or prospective students, complains, your university will be found in violation of the "gaining unfair advantage" section.

I would recommend to restructure   all  campaigns targeting settings.

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer’