Google Keyword Quota Exceeded – What’s Next?

Yesterday I posted a bunch of keywords to my account (about 70,000) but realized that I was being stupid and crazy, so today I tried to do some house-cleaning. I deleted the old campaign and created a new one. So when you have the Google Keyword Quota Exceeded – What’s Next?

This campaign has 63 ad groups and about 200 keywords per ad group.

I’m trying to make the campaign active and I get a message telling me “Keyword Quota Exceeded” … How can this be – Is Google still looking at my old keywords?”

When I hear reports of AdWords accounts with keywords numbering in the 10s of thousands, I have to gasp in amazement. I find it incredible that advertisers feel the need to create campaigns with so many keywords that AdWords has to cap their account.

Quite frankly, I’m amazed that people think such a large campaign can actually be managed properly. I can’t believe that any more than a small percentage of your keywords are actually making any money.

The first step you need to take in order to bring your account under control is to perform some basic housekeeping without abandoning your e-business initiatives.

Ask yourself these questions about each of your keywords:)

  • Does that keyword actually bring me any conversions?
  • Is a keyword with a click-through-rate of less than 1% really bringing me any benefit?
  • Could a bunch of very similar keywords with the “exact match” modifier be better represented by one keyword set to “phrase” or “broad” match?

I suspect that if you work through your keyword list asking yourself these important questions, you’ll find a heck of a lot of keywords that you can delete. Performing this exercise will also improve your campaign’s performance and may even increase your profit margins, not to mention improve your Quality Score ratings and make your account a whole lot easier to manage.

What Are Your Keyword Quota Limits?

For those advertisers out there who insist on creating massive keyword lists, you need to know that Google by default will limit your AdWords account to 25 campaigns.

Each campaign can contain a maximum of 100 ad groups and each ad group up to 2,000 keywords. Typically, your entire account is capped at 50,000 keywords, after which you’ll start to encounter the error message “Keyword Quota Exceeded“.

If you are using broad or phrase match keywords, then any negative keywords that you include to make your campaigns more targeted will also count towards your maximum keyword count. Everything has to do with Web Design Techniques. However, deleted keywords that remain in your account for statistical and reporting purposes do not count.

Can Your Keyword Quota Be Increased?

Although the total number of keywords you can add to a campaign cannot exceed 50,000, this cap is somewhat artificial. It’s not (to my knowledge at least) officially documented anywhere, but anecdotal evidence would certainly suggest that the keyword limit Google places on customers is assigned on an individual customer base.

There is significant evidence to suggest that the keyword cap placed on some accounts is significantly less than the 50,000 keyword limit suggested in Google’s help documentation and a lot more for others. Check out also this article about product-centric brands.

It’s no coincident that those accounts which have a lower maximum keyword threshold also tend to be poorly managed. And in direct contrast, those that have a higher threshold tend to be efficient and well-managed accounts.

If you’ve reached the upper keyword limit for your AdWords account, and you believe that it is being run efficiently and that the content it top, then it is possible to get your threshold increased. You simply need to contact AdWords support and make your case. Be aware, however, that not all requests are granted. See also this post about the Google Online Marketing Challenge.

One common way many resolve the problem, and that you definitely should not follow, is to open a second AdWords account.

Google takes a very dim view of advertisers running multiple accounts to promote the same website and it’s very likely that they will eventually ban you from advertising on the Google network altogether.