Top AdWords Spenders in 2015-2016

If you’ve ever done a search query for Google AdWords budgets or spenders, you’ll quickly see that a lot of the data varies. Unless you are able to get an actual report from a company like or on what they are spending annually on AdWords, everything else is just a guess, or based on scaped ad data from people like Spyfu or iSpionage.

Please note: this is a list that we’ve hand-curated based on multiple sources. For example, SpyFu estimates that spend about $10 million monthly on AdWords, while iSpionage estimates it spends $10-27 million monthly on AdWords. There are multiple other sources and ways to estimate these numbers as well, based on rough conclusions drawn from annual reports and actual budgets. It is only meant to be a very rough estimate We’ve combined multiple sources for the year 2015-2016, averaged them out, and then rounded them to the nearest million, or hundred thousand.

Here are the top 15 AdWords spenders in 2015 (Estimated Monthly Budget):

  1. $12 Million
  2. $8 Million
  3. $5 Million
  4. $4 Million
  5. State Farm: $3 Million
  6. Progressive: $3 Million
  7. $2 Million
  8. AT&T: $2 Million
  9. Expedia: $2 Million
  10. $2 Million
  11. Bank of America: $1 Million
  12. Verizon: $1 Million
  13. Chase: $1 Million
  14. Capital One: $650k
  15. Microsoft: $600k

If you want to see how much things have changed in the last few years, just check out some of the companies that are still on the list from 2012.

Google’s Biggest AdWords Spenders for 2012

Ever wonder which Google program earns them the most revenue?  Well, it’s not that difficult to figure out – just consider which program brings them pennies to dollars every time one of their hundreds of millions of users click their mouse.  AdWords.  It is now estimated that AdWords brings in 100 million dollars per day, according to their 3rd quarter reports.  Google has been easing up on some of their policies (from our experience) and lowering CPC’s in a number of different arenas.   This has led to AdWords becoming a much more attractive option for search marketers that are looking to promote their products and searches.  So who are the biggest contributors to this $100 million daily budget you might ask?  The top industries as you might guess are the usual big ones: Finance, Travel and Shopping.  Top AdWords spenders include:

  1. State Farm & Geico
  2. Expedia
  3. Amazon & Ebay
  4. University of Phoenix, Kaplan and Devry
  5. Sprint, Tmobile and Verizon
  6. Best Buy, Apple, and Newegg
  7. Yellow Pages, Staples and Vistaprint
  8. Lowes and Home Depot
  9. Edmunds
  10. QVC, Walgreens, and Maybelline

So what can be drawn from this? Quite a bit.  For starters – these are some industries for small-timers to just stay away from.  We get so many clients that come through our doors that are getting their Adwords budgets eaten up by trying to compete with keywords that are owned by these big wigs.  To put it simply – most companies simply cannot compete with these massive corporations.

For example – a small time hotel wants to advertise in their home town for “hotels hometown” and sets a maximum budget of $300/day.  This is a fairly large budget for a small hotel but they are hoping to get a big return from it, and quite a bit of branding.  But what happens?  Within minutes the spiders crawl her ads and alert top level ad managers at 10 hotel chains across the US that a new competitor has come into play.  With a few swift mouse clicks her winning bid is now crushed but enterprise level hotels with unlimited budgets that will pay not only to win the customer, but to get rid of the competition.

Google continues to win throughout all of this – with 5 companies battling to get $30 CPC’s with hundreds of daily volume just for one keyword – why isn’t Google HARD into the black? Would love to see some of their balance sheets on a broad level because a setup like Adwords should allow them to leverage marketing budgets of every fortune 500 company from here to the moon.

Update: Here is even more data.  We were able to track down some actual budget figures for some of these top companies, here ya go:

Company/Daily Budget

  1. – $650k
  2. University of Phoenix – $550k
  3. – $200k
  4. Att – $190k
  5. Homedepot – $150k
  6. TD Bank – $110k
  7. $230k
  8. – $90k
  9. Sears – $80k
  10. Vistaprint – $80k