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Exchange Rates?



9:05 pm on Jul 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Hi adwords guys, I think there are 2 of you on this forum so I hope that one of you can help me.

I have the following question and I have not been able to get a relavant answer from the adwords support staff for several months. I think the answer should be easy to find for you guys so please do help me as I dont know who to ask anymore.

Let me just describe the situation briefly so that you understand the importance of my question and the importance of a correct answer.

I currently have my account set to USD for all clicks, billing etc. As my local currency is not the USD. I am getting charged a pretty horrible exchange rate by the bank for the dollars I spend on adwords and therefor I have looking at ways to improve that situation. I have been informed by adwords support that I can change my account with some difficulties into my local currency. That would be a possibility for me to get rid of those horrible exchange rates used. However, I will need to know what exchange rate is being used by Google or its bank for their conversion.

For example. I am paying on avr 1 USD per click for a certain keyword. If you then let me change all account to my local currency then I would see the amount per click in my own currency. The exchange rate that is used for converting this dollar into my own currency is of great importance as it will show me if its in anyway beneficial to do this change in currency used for my adwords account.

What I have tried to explain to the adwords reps is that there can be big differences between exchange rates. Is the buy, mid or sell rate used for the exchange rate conversions? Is it the buy or sell rate of your local bank or the central bank etc etc. There can be upto 4% or more difference between one and the other and this makes a difference of tens of thousands of dollars for me on a yearly base.

I hope that you understand that its of critical importance that I know what type of exchange rate (i.e mid market rate central bank)is used. Your finance department should be able to answer this in a minute I assume as its information that is needed by any business that relies on forex rates. Please can you get this answer for me?

So far I have received varfious answers from the support staff including: 1) The exchange rate is determined by the click through ratio (my god, how can you give this form of irrelavant reply) 2) My bank is the one who decides (wrong as you would bill me in my currency and therefor my bank would pay you in my currency) 3) My favourite reply: Google is unable to inform you of how the exchange rate is calculated.

The answers above have taken me nearly 3 months to get. Most of the times I simply got no reply at all. Can we please now find the answer and help a good customer because I really dont see why this is taking so long. Its very frustrating. Please help me!


9:06 pm on Jul 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

AWAs post (http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum81/4597.htm) quoted by running scared is as accurate as you can get.

If you're bidding 50 ringgit for the term 'blue widgets', we will convert your 50 ringgit to US dollars using a standard exchange rate culled from a public source that is updated regularly (not updated only when it positively benefits us, but on a regular schedule that provides a fair exchange rate), and then rank your ad accordingly. When a click occurs, your actual cost per click in US dollars is converted back to ringgit using the same exchange rate and your account accrues the appropriate charge.

Simple and fair. We are not playing the FOREX.



1:28 am on Aug 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Dear AWA2,

I never implied that you guys did. The thing is that I can now check on different exchange rate conversion website and will find different results which can vary more then 5%. If the source where you get the rates is public, cant you share that info with us?


7:42 pm on Aug 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

AWA and I followed up on this issue with the Product Manager, and I think we have made another step in the right direction. I will be quoting our Product Manager directly below:

Thank you for raising this issue, and thank you all once again for your patience.

Based on your collective feedback over the last several weeks, we would like to take this opportunity to provide greater visibility into how we manage our currency conversion process.

To convert currencies for ad ranking, we receive a daily feed from Citibank and use the average of the buy and sell prices to determine the exchange rate. This procedure was outlined accurately by AWA in a previous post:

Google converts the bid value to the US Dollar and than determines the ad rank.

Before entering the auction, the CPC's are converted into what we call micro-currency. Basically, we calculate currency down to 6 decimal points. Highly exact exchange rates are retrieved daily.

The base currency is the US dollar, or more specifically, one hundred-thousandth of a US dollar, so even dollars are converted, really.

Because this is so granular a calculation, there is no advantage to bidding in one currency rather than another.

Once an ad is served, your AdWords account is charged in the currency you selected when the account was opened, so no further conversion is necessary.

It's also important to note that we charge your credit card in the currency you've selected in your AdWords account; however, if your AdWords account's currency is different from the currency of your credit card, you may be incurring an additional currency conversion charge from the credit card company.



8:11 pm on Aug 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I've experienced the same problem. Even worse, they didn't charge my credit card for 3 months of advertising and charged everything this month before I ever had a chance to change the currency back to USD. I was told that if my bank was in the US, they would charge in USD on not in Euros, which is artificially costing our firm more. In essence, they are converting euros to dollars using their proprietary conversion algorithm, then converting back to euros and charging our US bank in euros. Since Google is charging a US bank in euros, we're being assessed a 3% charge on our ad spend.

Granted, all of this is unnecessary as we simply wanted to easily equate a profit margin reported in euros with our ad spend in euros. We have learned our lesson and have uploaded ads into a new campaign.

Had they charged appropriately or made it known that you shouldn't use a foreign currency unless your bank is actually in that country, this would not be an issue.

I was also told that I will lose all account history, CTR's, etc and that there was no option for fixing this. AWA2 if you can help me out here, please let me know.

running scared

3:39 pm on Aug 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thank you AWA2 - your efforts are appreciated


8:59 pm on Aug 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


I was told that if my bank was in the US, they would charge in USD on not in Euros, which is artificially costing our firm more.

I was also told that I will lose all account history, CTR's, etc and that there was no option for fixing this. AWA2 if you can help me out here, please let me know.

I apologize that you received this bit of incorrect information regarding the currency you would be charged in. If you specify Euros during the account creation process, then we will bill in Euros as long as your credit card will accept the charges.

I can help out with linking the two accounts so you don't lose history. Please StickyMail me the two account IDs. Linking the accounts is not as good as having all of the Ad Groups in their original locations, but you will get to take advantage of that developed history.


This 21 message thread spans 2 pages: 21

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