Google AdWords Certification Marketing

Buyer Beware When Selecting an Online Marketing Company...

A good part of what we do every month is competitive monitoring, both for our clients and for ourselves. In the online marketing world, there is one certification that definitely stands out--Google AdWords certification. Unfortunately, there are quite a few companies out there that either stretch the truth or outright lie about their certifications.

Google AdWords Qualified Individual Logo

There are two levels to the Google AdWords program with the primary difference being the amount of spend managed (how much Google makes as a result of the company's advertising), and the number of qualified individuals on staff. To meet individual qualification requirements, a person or company basically needs to accept terms of use, manage $1,000 in spend per quarter, have 90 days experience, and pass the written exam. For company qualification, the company needs to employ at least 2 qualified individuals and, in the U.S., manage $100,000 in spend per quarter. It is this $100,000 spend requirement that keeps many very good marketing firms at the Google AdWords Qualified Individual level instead of the Google AdWords Qualified Company level. HPG is included in the group of Google AdWords Qualified Individuals for precisely this reason.

Google provides a way to verify credentials, and any company who displays the Google AdWords logo should have that logo linked to their professional status page. So here is where the lies and truth stretching begins. I'm not going to call any specific companies out, but here are some things that I've noted in researching our competition lately...

  • One particularly well known company displays the Google AdWords Qualified Company logo but does not have it linked to a professional status page. There is no way to know for sure whether they are really qualified without jumping through some hoops.
  • Another possibly unscrupulous company displayed the Google AdWords Qualified logo but had it linked to someone else's professional status page. Of course, this could have just been a linking error, but again it is hard to tell.
  • Another well known individual displays a Google AdWords Qualified Company logo, but his credentials page indicates he only has Google AdWords Qualified Individual status. 

It's not all doom and gloom, and many individuals and companies get it right. But if the company you are considering is stretching it on their Google AdWords qualification, you might wonder what else they are stretching the truth on.

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