Managing Multiple Google AdSense Accounts with Multiple Users


Google’s AdSense product allows publishers (as in, website owners) to sell ads on their sites through Google’s ad network. Though less lucrative than it once was, display and text ad revenue from AdSense can really help a site’s bottom line. In terms of functionality, AdSense has always lagged behind other Google products — long after the rest of Google has been dramatically updated, AdSense feels like a trip back in time.

There are two different types of “accounts” in question here.

An “AdSense account” is defined by the payee of the ad revenue. An AdSense account can only have one payee, and each payee can only have one AdSense account. (If you own a business, you generally can’t have multiple AdSense accounts — you can have one AdSense account, and use it on multiple sites.)

A “Google account” is a “user” account. If you’re a Gmail user, your Google account is If you’re a Google Apps user (say, through work or school), your Google account is

In summer 2012, AdSense finally started supporting multiple users. This allows a single AdSense account (again, an AdSense account paying out to a single payee) to be managed by multiple Google accounts (again, This meant that you could stop sharing passwords to a single AdSense account. With this update, you could add users to the account, and even set access levels giving them Standard privileges or Administrator privileges (for users you trust as much as you trust yourself!). It’s easy to add a new employee to your account, or if someone leaves, take them off the account without having to reset the password and send it out to everyone. It’s straightforward to set this up, Google has an easy guide on how to add users here, and if you’re sharing passwords to an AdSense account, it’s high time to stop.

… unless you’re an organization like us, and you manage multiple AdSense accounts. Now, we’re not managing a bunch of AdSense accounts for ourselves, that’s against Google’s Terms of Use, and doesn’t make much sense anyway. We manage accounts that belong to (and pay out to) other businesses — our clients. Our clients come to us with existing AdSense accounts, or we help them set up new ones. For us, there’s a huge caveat to what seems like a big win above. A single AdSense account can be managed by multiple Google accounts, but a single Google account cannot manage multiple AdSense accounts. This isn’t clearly written anywhere in Google’s support documentation. If you try to add a Google account that is already associated with an AdSense account to another AdSense account, you won’t be able to. You won’t be able to sign up for a new AdSense account from a Google account that is associated with an existing AdSense account either.

So, you have two unattractive options.

The first option is to go the old-school route: create one Google account dedicated to AdSense, and share the password with everyone who needs it. The second option is to create one Google account dedicated to AdSense, and then create a new Google account for each person that needs to access it, and sharing access with them.

The second option clearly has more upfront overhead, but it does let you take advantage of AdSense’s multiple user management. And, AdSense does support Google’s easy user switching, so for everyday use, this isn’t so bad — especially given the potential cost of a ne’er-do-well making off with your shared administrator password! Until Google addresses this, this is the option we recommend.

Perhaps Google will resolve this someday. Perhaps not. If you’d rather not worry about such things, give us a call at 1.877.439.6665 or email us at and let’s chat. Managing AdSense is one of the many services we can provide you as part of a larger engagement!

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