I’m really pleased to be at the stage in my career whereby I don’t feel obliged to chase awards and accreditations. That being said, the new Google partnership directory launch has certainly created some industry buzz, enough for me to really pursue it and from today, be known as an official Google Partner.
The new Google Directory of Approved Partners has really caused a bit of a stir within the industry, this is mainly due to a lot of agencies holding the approved badge on their site but not actually being approved, as a consumer you can easily check this via the directory.
What does this entail?
Although being an approved partner is good, it is not as significant as many people believe. I know some customers who believe Google will audit agencies and freelancers like a financial audit, but the criteria is actually much simpler.
- An agency or freelancer must have an optimisation score above 70% across their full portfolio of managed accounts. The optimisation score is basically a metric Google assigns to MCC (or Ad accounts individually) grading their setup and structure. The score isn’t definitive but can be a good indicator. I was able to hone mine to 86.7%, which is not bad at all, although sometimes this score can not be 100% reflective of performance.
- An agency or freelancer must have a portfolio of accounts that spend over $10,000 on average within the last 90-days. A nice easy one with mine spending well over £200,000 during this period.
- An agency or freelancer must have one member of staff (depending on their size) who is a strategist and completes an online exam. The exam parameters are based heavily on trust so there is no preventative measure for cheating or googling the answers. I was able to score 85-95% on all the exams, easy. My only quarrel with the exam (outside of the trust side, have you seen how bad some parts of our industry is?) but it’s the exam and learning does not actually walk someone through creating the account, it’s all contextual and not hand-holding. OK, I understand that you need to know key parts but if you’re a relatively entry-level freelancer there isn’t a lot of learning or handholding.
So what’s the key lesson with Ads Partners?
Firstly, this should be a red flag if an agency or freelancer is touting about partnership status and is not on the directory. It can take over 24 hours for an agency or freelancer to be added to the directory.
Secondly, if you question an agency that fails to get partnership status, I’d seriously question their ability to deliver as this is such an entry-level status, failing it is actually hard for a mid-PPC expert.
I’d certainly only consider this as a nod, not a major industry award, always carry out due-diligence with commissioning a PPC freelancer or agency, if this badge is a key selling point for them, it may be a bit of a red flag. If you want to see what I can do for you, please feel free to get a sense of how I work through my PPC management service page.