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Google AdWords Certification and Google Partners: Are You Confused?

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After several discussions, or rather, arguments on Twitter lately, it has come to my attention that there is quite a bit of confusion around the new Google Partners program and Google AdWords Certification. Big changes have happened lately surrounding the Google Certification program, the biggest being the switch to Google Partners.

When the Google Certification program was replaced with the Google Partners program, getting Google AdWords Certification was supposed to become easier and more meaningful. Unfortunately, Google didn’t do the best job of providing clear and accurate information on this process. Having been a Google Certified Partner for several years now, it even took us a few weeks and about three phone calls with Google support to get us reconnected and operational. So, to clear up the confusion, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to re-connect your company with Google Partners and how you now get Google AdWords Certification for free.

The first thing you’ll need to do is sign up with Google Partners as an individual and then associate your company. From your own Google Partners profile, select “Company Affiliation” and then do a search for your company name. If your company doesn’t show up, you’ll need to select “Create Company Profile.” Once you have completed the form in its entirety you’ll need to make sure your email address has editing access to your company’s AdWords MCC account and you’ll also need to make sure your company’s Google Plus page is connected to your website. We found the easiest way to do this is to put a Google Plus icon with a link over to our Google plus page on our website footer. That link needs to contain the rel=”publisher” markup.

Now your individual Google Partners profile should be affiliated with your company Google Partners profile. Keep in mind that there are still strict requirements for a company to be a Google Partner. There must be at least one certified individual, you must have a Google Plus company page and that page needs to be connected to your website. You’ll need to maintain a minimum spend of $10,000 over 90 days in your MCC account and your account needs to have been active for at least 60 of the last 90 day period. But, here’s the kicker. Now that you have set up your individual and company Google Partners profiles, you can take any one of the Google AdWords Certification exams for free instead of the previous $50 charge.

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