About linking accounts to your manager account

To begin using your manager account, you’ll need to link it to an existing or new Google Ads or AdWords Express account, or to another manager account. Then, you can view information across multiple accounts and switch between all linked accounts using just one login.

This article gives you background about linking accounts to your manager account. For instructions on how to do this, see Link accounts to your manager accounts.

How it works

It can help to think of a manager account like a tree. Each top-level manager account can branch out to manage individual accounts or other manager accounts. Those manager accounts can then branch out to manage more individual accounts or other manager accounts, and so on.

Here are some limits to keep in mind:

  • The maximum number of active, non-manger accounts your manager account can be linked to at any given time depends on your accounts’ monthly spend from the last 12 months. Learn more about how the maximum account limit is determined for your manager account.
  • An individual Google Ads account can't be directly managed by more than 5 manager accounts.
  • A manager account can't be directly managed by more than 1 other manager account.
  • Your managed account structure can be no greater than 6 levels deep.
     

Manager account hierarchy

Linking to an existing individual Google Ads account

When you link your manager account to an existing Google Ads account, the original managed account remains unchanged and its account history remains intact. From the original user's perspective, the account will look the same, and is accessible with the same sign-in information as before, and with the same permissions. For example, the original users of the managed account continue to have access to the account's billing, and invoicing and payment methods do not change, unless you choose to set up consolidated billing

Keep in mind that when you link your manager account to an existing Google Ads account, it won’t have administrative ownership of the managed account by default. Administrative ownership will have to be turned on for the manager account in the managed account. 

You also have the option to create new Google Ads accounts right from your manager account. These accounts are automatically linked to your manager account, and you can invite users to the account as necessary. Learn more about creating new accounts from your manager account.

Linking to a manager account

You can also link another manager account to your manager account and manage the account in the same way that you manage individual Google Ads accounts. This also lets you manage and view data for all of the Google Ads accounts that are linked to that manager account.  As noted above, a manager account can't be directly managed by more than 1 other manager account.

Once your manager account is linked to another manager account, here’s how things work for users who have access to your manager account:

  • If your manager account is above the other manager account in the account structure (meaning your account manages the other manager account), users with access to your manager account can make changes to the other manager account. 
  • If your manager account is below the other manager account in the account structure (meaning your account is managed by the other manager account), users with access to your manager account won’t be able to make changes to your account.

Creating sub-managers for your manager account

Once you link your manager account to another manager account, you have the ability to make that linked account the manager for some of your managed accounts. That linked manager account then becomes a sub-manager in your manager account. See the example below for how you can create and use sub-managers. 

Example

Amy manages 5 accounts that include 2 accounts for direct sales and 3 accounts for channel sales. She wants her partner, Bill, to manage the channel sales accounts. To accomplish this:

  1. Bill creates his own manager account.
  2. Amy links Bill’s new manager account to her own manager account. Bill now has a sub-manager account that's managed by Amy's account.
  3. Amy changes the manager for the 3 channel sales accounts to Bill’s manager account.

Now Bill has access to the 3 accounts he needs, while Amy can still view each of those accounts from her top-level manager account.

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