Google has announced plans to ditch its popular Google Advertising Professionals Program and it’s only giving agencies 6 months to recertify under a new program.
Search marketing companies and agencies that are currently certified under the Google Advertising Professionals Program (including ineedhits) will now have to change over to the new Google AdWords Certification Program.
Why the change?
Penry Price, Vice President of Google Global Agency Development said that “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.”
Those who want to be individually certified now need to pass two exams. Companies wanting to be certified need to have one individually certified employee and have a spend of $10,000 per quarter.
Some of the elements of the new program include:
- 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.
Google has also made the Adwords API more accessible to more partners through a pricing restructure. Google Adwords certified partners, who manage client Adwords accounts, will now be able to use the Adwords API free, depending on their managed client spend.
The Google AdWords API allows agencies and developers of search engine marketing tools to build applications that interact directly with the AdWords platform. This enables them to use these applications to manage large AdWords campaigns more efficiently and creatively.
Price explains the reasoning behind the new API pricing:
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.
More information about the new program is available at the Google Certification Program site.