Google plans to delete AdWords accounts that have been inactive for 15 months beginning on March 25.
The move is intended to keep AdWords running fast and help advertisers stay within the “manager account limits,” which Google defines as the maximum number of active, non-manager accounts the manager account can link to at once, according to a blog post.
As of this week, any accounts that have reached the 15-month mark without advertising invested in the campaign now meet the criteria, and will be canceled.
Fifteen months may seem like a long time, but marketers can leave dormant accounts in the system for years.
After an account is canceled, the account is no longer eligible to get requests for Managed Customer Service, and all ads in the account will stop automatically within 24 hours.
Google also explains that the changes will affect any AdWords API request that specifies the account's customer ID in the client customer Id header, which will fail with an “Operation Access Denied” error and a reason of “CUSTOMER_NOT_ACTIVE starting with v201802, and a reason of ACTION_NOT_PERMITTED for earlier versions of the AdWords API,” explains Josh Radcliff, developer programs engineer at Google, in a blog post.
When an account is canceled, all unspent prepaid funds will go back to the advertiser.
Google suggests that marketers should run reports to retrieve any data they want to save if the account receives an inactive notice.
If the inactive account is running to test the AdWords API, Google suggests running a test account instead.
The one caveat to Google’s warning is that all tests accounts will remain in the system.