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Your Google Credit Rating

Mike Peters, 11-13-2007
Everyone knows what a FICO Score is, a D&B rating or a Debt-to-Income ratio (DTI).

All in all, these ratings are simply a statistical score used to determine how likely a consumer/business is to pay their invoice on time.

As a business owner, these numbers are a way to project how much you can "trust" a new customer.

Once you develop enough of a history working with a customer, you no longer need this third-party statistical data to measure how "trust-worthy" a customer is. You can use your own track record with the customer to identify - (a) Do they pay on time? (b) What volume are they pushing? (c) Are they a happy customer? (d) Are they big enough to become a potential partner? etc.

Every single business, big or small, is using these principles.

Yet, for some reason, whenever I speak to an audience about Search Engine Marketing, people are always shocked when I introduce the Google Credit Rating system.


Software Projects is a full-service Internet Marketing & Web Development firm. We offer 81 services to help businesses make more money online. Established in 1998, the company is currently servicing 2,000 businesses in 14 countries.

One of the services we offer is Pay Per Click Management, where we manage your Google, MSN and Yahoo advertising budget for you.

With a $3 Million monthly PPC budget, across various industries, we sure get to experiment a lot with ways to get more bang for your (PPC) buck.


Whether it's Quality Score, CTR optimization or Trends, unlike other theoreticians, we know from experience what works and what doesn't.

One of the concepts we identified early on was the Google AdWords Credit Rating system.

Google Credit Rating - Explained:

Similar to how every business keeps track of its customers to evaluate how "trust-worthy" each customer is, Google appears to be monitoring 7 variables about every single Google AdWords advertiser:

1. Account Age
2. Average 90 days dollar spend (similar to the Amex system)
3. Average 90 days Quality Score across all campaigns
4. Average 90 days click volume
5. Average all-time conversion rate
6. Average 90 days CTR (Clicks to Impressions)
7. Payment track record (Do you pay on time)

Excellent Google Credit Rating = Pay Less, Get Better Placement:

Just like getting a mortgage or a car loan, having an excellent Google Credit Rating is very desirable.

Our research shows the Google Credit Rating system has a direct impact on:

(a) How much you pay (Higher rating = Lower minimum bids)
(b) Your Placement (Higher rating = Lower placement when sorting ads)
(c) Your Volume (If you have a poor or medium rating, no matter how much you budget, Google will never send the bulk of it's available inventory your way. You'll hit invisible daily caps very quickly. That's because you are considered a risk)
(d) Default QoS score (QoS has an automated phase and a human-review phase. The automated QoS score is affected by your Google Credit Rating)
(e) Trademark review process (Higher rating = Faster service)

In Summary

PPC Experts around the blogosphere are just now discovering the inner workings of the Google Credit Rating system. It's funny how the larger your PPC budget is, the quicker you identify unique patterns.

Follow the steps described here and you'll gradually improve your Google Credit Rating to dominate every market you operate in.

Use a single primary Google Adwords Account for all of your campaigns. If you plan on doing a lot of testing, create another entity and a secondary AdWords account for your testing.

Pay on time.

Be very careful about not driving your primary account average CTR rates down.

joe preston, 11-13-2007
Thats very nice info to share with the class! I've often wondered about using multiple adwords accounts to see what account characteristics are evaluated by google, but for most of us it boils down to time and resource issues for a project like that.

Matt Cutts, 11-16-2007
Interesting take on things. Please don't call it a Google Credit Rating.

Cindy Wong, 11-16-2007
Wow. Thank you for this research.

I've seen similar patterns with our accounts but never had the time to research it thoroughly

Steven Santos, 11-19-2007
Very interesting.

Do you mind sharing more information about what tools you use to manage all those campaigns?

Dawn Rossi, 11-19-2007
Steven -

We use both Atlas OnePoint as well as DART Search by DoubleClick for PPC bid management.

Recently we started looking into Kenshoo which is a great tool for keyword expansion.

There is a proprietary (in house) system we use for ad creative updates, complementing Atlas and DART.

same day loan, 09-05-2012
Google credit rating is totally new for me, I did not hear about it earlier. There are so many things in google credit ratings like Account Age, Average 90 days dollar spend (similar to the Amex system), Average 90 days Quality Score across all campaigns, etc.
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