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5 Google Ads Agency Scams To Be Aware Of

5 Google Ads Agency Scams To Be Aware Of

There are many good agencies out there, and they do great work for their clients. But a small number of Google Ads agencies are out to make a quick buck and not do as promised.

Quite often you’ll see these agencies by the reviews they get online and the reputation they have. And many have thin websites with little information about their expertise, experience and skills.

So, it’s important that as you look for a Google Ads agency to setup and manage your pay per click (PPC) campaigns, you should be aware of some of the scams and problems to avoid.


1. Not saying who owns the account

When you approach a Google Ads agency and don’t already have an account of your own, they can either create one for you or you can create one and add them to the account.

Whoever creates the account will have admin rights, and will be able to add anyone to the account and grant any permission they like including admin, read-only, standard and so on.

Google Ads User Access Levels


Some agencies create accounts for their clients and don’t alert them to the type of access that they are giving them and what that means for them. And it’s common that when the relationship collapses or when the client wants to move on that they discover they do not have ownership rights to the account.

So, they are not able to remove the agency from the account. And they are not able to add another agency that they may want to work with – and their current agency blocks anyone that they try to add.

To prevent this, check early on what access you actually have. This should ideally be admin access and should allow you to add or remove anyone from the account. And if you have a contract with the Google Ads agency, make sure that it is made clear who owns the account.

Google recommends that the client should own the account at all times, but that is not always possible. So, you will not be able to get any help from Google if you want the account to be transferred to you. The only other option you may have is to create a new account yourself and setup new campaigns from scratch. That means you will lose data in the account if you have been removed from it.


2. Not carrying out the specified work

This is a common problem that many advertisers experience and is one of the reasons for underperforming ads. Unfortunately, many advertisers are not aware that not all the work is not being carried out because they do not know how to check and have to rely on the word of their agencies.

It’s important to check the work they are doing, and one of the ways to do that is in Change History at the account or campaign levels in the left navigation as the screenshot below shows.

Change History

This shows most changes that are taking place in your account and who is making the changes. However, some changes made in Recommendations will not show here, at least not in detail, as many of them are automated suggestions and can be dismissed or applied to your campaigns.

And you can undo some of the changes if they have not been effective for your campaigns. You’ll see an ‘Undo’ link under each change that is eligible for that option.

So, checking this section regularly will help you to see if the agency is doing the work that was agreed to. Or you can ask them to send you monthly screenshots of this work.


3. Stealing your Google Ads Spend

If your agency handles the payment of your advertising charges, it’s important to check that they’re spending all the amount that you’re sending them. Some agencies have an invoicing system with Google, so they handle payments for their clients who send them their advertising budget directly.

Some agencies will have it in the contract how much they will spend on your advertising and how much they charge for their services. You can check the reports to see if this is all being spent.

However, if they’ve agreed to send you a certain number of leads or sales, then that is less of a problem. Just check that you’re getting what has been promised and still request the monthly reports.


4. They don’t keep you in the loop

Knowing what your Google Ads agency is doing each week and month will help to make your campaigns successful. You’ll be able to advise them on the quality of leads and sales you’re getting and work closely with them to improve this.

But many advertisers are in the dark about the work that their agencies are doing. They don’t know what work is being done in the campaigns and what impact it is actually having, or if they are doing their best to manage the ads. It’s not enough to check the ‘Change History’ page to see what they’re doing. You should know that the best work is being done to get the maximum results.

So, it’s common that advertisers are not updated regularly whether that’s weekly or monthly on the campaigns. And it’s common to hear of agencies that go silent on their clients for months.


5. They are not clear about their expertise in your industry

Google Ads is a large platform that is used by a wide range of businesses and organisations including B2B and B2C companies, and non-profits like charities and so on. So, it’s very unlikely that an agency would have expertise in all sectors and industries.

And some agencies will not be clear about their expertise and experience in your industry. In some cases they will claim to have experience which they may not have.

So, it’s important to check that they have reviews, case studies, guides, testimonials and so on to demonstrate their expertise. And make sure you check these carefully to make sure you’re picking the right agency.



Finding the right Google Ads agency can be a challenge. There are many agencies to pick from, all promising to offer the best services. Unfortunately, many clients have discovered too late that they’ve picked the wrong agency and it has cost them a lot of money, time and resources. But, knowing some of the agency scams above will help you avoid these pitfalls and ensure that you have a great experience and pick the right agency to work with so you can have profitable campaigns.


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