The New Google AdWords Certification Program

From Google :

As the advertising industry has grown and evolved, so too has our relationship with advertising agencies. These companies, from SEMs to the largest traditional agencies, play a critical role in the continued success of Google, our advertisers and our industry — so we spend a lot of time talking to agencies about how we can make it easier for them to work with us and our advertisers.

We’ve had a lot of great feedback from agencies and today we’re announcing changes designed to offer them better training and more rigorous certification in AdWords proficiency, and to lower costs for those who help advertisers get the most out of AdWords. We’re also making it easier for advertisers to find certified agency partners to work with them on digital advertising. Here’s an overview of what’s changing today.

Raising the bar for Google AdWords Certification
We’re retiring our long-standing Google Advertising Professionals (GAP) program and replacing it with a new Google AdWords Certification program for those managing AdWords accounts on behalf of advertisers. The new program provides agencies and their employees with more up-to-date, comprehensive, strategy-focused training and certification on the latest tools and best practices for managing AdWords accounts, including:

  • New training materials to help agencies better understand recent changes in search marketing and AdWords functionality, available via webinar series, learning center, or on-site training at Google
  • More challenging certification exams to test practical application of knowledge and best practices (rather than simple recall of knowledge)
  • Advanced-level exams to highlight competency in search, display, reporting and analysis
  • A redesigned Certified Partner badge, which includes a “Click to Verify” element so advertisers can view the partner’s profile page for additional information.

For more information on the AdWords Certification Program or to create an account, visit the Google Certification program site and help center.

Helping advertisers find Google Certified Partners
Google Certified Partners can opt in to Google Partner Search, an online, searchable directory that helps advertisers identify Certified Partners that meet their criteria. Small and medium-sized advertisers who haven’t previously used an agency have told us that evaluating potential partners can be a daunting task, so we think Google Partner Search will be especially valuable for them.

To show up in advertiser searches through Google Partner Search, agencies must opt in and fill in details about their core attributes and capabilities. Searches can be filtered by location, agency experience within a particular budget range, the types of services provided and the industry verticals an agency serves. Advertisers can then evaluate the list of Certified Partners that meet their criteria and contact the partners who seem best suited to their needs. To learn more about Google Partner Search, visit the help center.

Introducing preferred AdWords API pricing
The Google AdWords API allows developers to build applications that interact directly with the AdWords platform. Agencies and developers of search engine marketing tools use these applications to manage large AdWords campaigns more efficiently and creatively.

Today, we’re announcing preferred AdWords API pricing. This gives qualified Google AdWords Certified Partners who manage client AdWords accounts free use of the AdWords API based on managed client spend. To apply, agencies must have an active agency profile page and be compliant with the AdWords API terms and conditions. We’ll evaluate applications for preferred AdWords API pricing based on the criteria listed here.

We hope preferred AdWords API pricing will encourage agencies and developers to experiment with new strategies, expand the functionality of their tools, and build more comprehensive client campaigns without worrying about increased costs. You can learn more about preferred pricing and how to apply at the preferred AdWords API pricing site.

We’re looking forward to receiving feedback on all of these initiatives and to continuing to improve our partnership with agencies.

Posted by Penry Price, Vice President, Global Agency Development