Posted April 26, 2010 12:13 pm by with 3 comments

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Google is changing the way it will interact with agencies using AdWords. They’re discontinuing the Google Advertising Professionals program in favor of the Google AdWords Certification program, and eliminating fees for some agencies using the API, based on client spend.

Agencies that have at least one certified employee may qualify as Certified Partners now. The certification process will also change, with more training materials, harder tests that include application and best practices, and a new badge that includes a “click to verify” CTA. Individuals certifying will now have to pass two tests instead of one, according to Search Engine Land.

For large enough agencies, Google will be waiving the AdWords API fee. They’ll begin accepting applications for that program one month from today.

Google is also adding a searchable database of Certified Partners now, enabling prospective clients to search for an agency to serve their AdWords needs. For once, the database is totally opt-in (good job, Google!). According to Google:

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.

Clearly, Google is looking at the way they interact with agencies, and trying to make their AdWords offerings more friendly to their biggest clients.

What do you think? Will this change the way agencies and Google interact?

  • Done! Already passed my exams!

  • I think this is interesting in that the spend to be what used to be the Google certified company dropped from $100K/quarter to $30K/quarter. I’m not sure why. Then again, there are four $50 tests to take, right?

    Google did something a little bizarre just two weeks ago. I had a client call me because he got a call from Google. Seems he was in a test area for the new Places while it was still the LBC. They pitched him on the expanded offering, and it was the first time I had that sinking feeling that Google would happily go around me and directly to the advertiser.

    What surprised me about today’s announcement was that Google didn’t announce the changes to the existing certified people and organizations. Even if they had done so simultaneously, at least it would have felt like I didn’t have to read about the change from a third party. (Not that I don’t love MP, but still…) 🙂

    • They probably should have sent current members an email, but most of the above info is just from the AdWords blog. (And we love you too 😉 )