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Checking that a Company or Professional Consultant is really Google Adwords Qualified or a Certified Partner

We have recently been looking for an AdWords professional to implement and manage AdWords campaigns for a new website in a competitive market place. As with any supplier or consultant it’s important that we employ a company or individual that is highly experienced and qualified and therefore decided that our first requirement was that the company or individual needed to be a Google Qualified Partner. However, the process has not been that straight forward and is somewhat confusing. Below are the logos currently being displayed by some of the web sites we came across.

New Logo

Old Logo

From our initial research it seems that there are many who profess to being Adwords qualified but the more we research it would appear there are many professionals that say they are qualified but are not anymore following Google’s change to its certification process in 2010 which made it much more complex to get such certification.

It also seems that people are incorrectly displaying Google’s Adwords badges without any come back. To make matters even more confusing there is the Google Certified Partners badge and individually qualified professionals used to get a badge also but are no longer able to do so.

The difference between the Google Certified Partner (GCP) and an individual who is qualified is that a GCP needs to employ at least one individual who is qualified and have spent on average $10,000 per quarter on campaigns (so this is realistically now the preserve of larger agencies) and individuals whose only requirements is to pass a fundamental exam and in addition one of three advanced exams.

As mentioned above the old qualification for the Google Adwords Professional program was retired and new exams should have been passed to retain ones status and certification as a Google Partner and to keep a Google Public Profile. A lot of Companies are still displaying the old Google badge but how is the average potential customer going to know?

ln Google’s terms and conditions it states that the current adwords ceritifed partner badge can only be displayed if linked to the company profile. An individual Google Certified Partner no longer gets a badge but can promote themselves by publishing their individual profile page and displaying their exam certificate but not a badge – it’s a bit complex, isn’t it? But you could easily end up retaining someone who simply doesn’t know as much as they pretend.

Furthermore; on clicking on the badges displayed on websites we found that many did not link to a partner or profile page. If they’re not following the Google guidelines themselves its pretty clear they aren’t going to follow the best practice with your PPC campaign isn’t it! Our thought is that you take these steps in your verification process:

  • Ignore anyone displaying an Adwords Ceritifed logo or badge on their website that does not link to the Google Public Profile or Individual Profile page. If they are truly qualified and are not detailed enough to keep the link or update their website then it does not bear well for your advertising.
  • Check that they are listed on Google Partner Search.
  • This is a useful link from Google – How do I Choose a Google AdWords Certified Partner.
  • As always ensure you take references.

I hope this was useful and saved you some research time. It would be great to know of your experiences in using a professional for Adwords.

avatar Name: Alexandra Eager
About: Alex has worked as a Financial Controller and Finance Director for many years for a variety of companies across a range of industries but more recently she has moved away from accounting working for an internet marketing agency as Finance and Operations director, primarily overseeing the finance functions and search engine optimisation (SEO) for clients. Follow Alex on G+ and on Twitter @Alex_BusDirUK
Alex runs her own company with two fellow owners developing a suite of e-commerce web sites and promoting them directly. “I found that SEO and finance were quite compatible both needing an eye for detail, research and analysis as well keeping up with new developments and changes.”

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