Back in January Google introduced Google Engage. It appeared to be a new educational program they are testing to grow adoption of Google AdWords, but there hasn’t been much chatter about it since. While doing some prep for my upcoming Google AdWords web seminars, I noticed and ad for Google Engage.
Being the savvy AdWords marketer that I am, I knew that this ad was targeted by Google to people searching to learn more about Google Analytics Certification (my search query & their targeted keyword). So I had to check it out.
Right now the program seems to be simply a quick landing page with basic information that is trying to see how much interest there is in the program. You quickly hit an ‘application’ form that states you’ll be notified in 10-15 days regarding whether you are accepted into the program (my application is now pending).
What I was surprised to see was that on the ‘application’ the program name is changed to “Google Engage for Agencies” (see below).
I was surprised to see this shift in their targeting away from the average marketer to focus on agency professionals. I continue to feel Google is missing a much larger part of the potential user base by focusing on the agencies. I believe in the next couple years we will see a fundamental shift of more and more companies bringing their AdWords/PPC efforts in house, and this program is neglecting those people. We will also see more and more of the small/medium sized businesses turn to AdWords as an expensive channel to inexpensively drive qualified traffic to their website. But I’ll come down off my soap box and get back to Google Engage.
According to the site:
The Google Engage program offers the training and tools for webmasters, search engine marketers and optimizers, and marketing consultants to help them offer AdWords services to their clients. As a member, you get the following benefits:
- 20 x $100 AdWords coupons for your new customer accounts
- Trainings to build and enhance your AdWords skills
- Professional tools to market your services
By enhancing your online skill set and knowledge of Google products, you’ll be more attractive to potential clients and more beneficial to your existing ones.
The FAQ had some interesting points as well:
What is the Google Engage program and who is it intended for?
The Google Engage program is designed to educate and support those businesses that specialize in helping other businesses succeed online. Typical participants include interactive agencies, individual webmasters, web developers, and IT consultants. Participants can receive access to educational resources, live events, promotional materials, and a select number of free AdWords vouchers. When participants grow their online skills and further develop their knowledge of Google products, we believe they’ll become more attractive to potential clients and more valuable to existing ones.
Can I get more AdWords vouchers if I run out?
Additional vouchers may be offered to participants who successfully distribute their initial 20 vouchers, and whose clients both open and activate new AdWords accounts. Voucher distribution is at Google’s sole discretion and under the condition that a participant has fully respected the Google AdWords voucher terms and conditions.
Why register for the Google Engage program?
Program participants enjoy several benefits targeted at helping them acquire in-depth AdWords knowledge, gain an upper hand on their competition, and ultimately increase their profits. Benefits include:
- AdWords vouchers that can be used to attract new clients (20 voucher limit initially)
- Ready-made promotional materials that you can be used with clients
- Online trainings and other educational materials
- Help in becoming an official Google AdWords Certified Partner
There’s no cost to enroll in the program. Join us today!
What’s the difference between the Google Engage program and the AdWords Certification program?
The Google Engage program can be used as stepping stone to the Google AdWords Certification program. Google Engage participants have access to free AdWords vouchers, live educational events, online trainings, and ready-made promotional materials. The skills acquired through this program should prepare participants to pass the Google AdWords Certification exam.
AdWords Certified partners receive additional benefits including more advanced trainings, a Professional Profile page, an official badge or certificate showing their AdWords qualification, higher-value AdWords promotional vouchers, and the option to be listed on the Google Partner Search engine. For more information on becoming AdWords Certified, including qualification requirements, please visit the Google AdWords Certification Program page.
I’ll be scheduling a call with my Google rep to discuss things further and see what other details I can get, but as the ‘site’ for Google Engage is set as a landing page for the ad (so they can quietly kill it), here’s a screenshot of how they position the program.
Anyone using Engage? How’s it working?