Important News For Google Ads Partners Program
New requirements for agencies to achieve and maintain Google Partner status take effect starting in June 2020. Many Google Advertisers has received an email on Thursday about substantial changes coming to Google Ads Partners Program – the badge and certification program for agencies that meet certain criteria.
As far as I have read the news and understood the most important news are:
- Performance criteria for maintaining Partner’s badge will be more transparent and will directly refer to the optimization score highlighted in the “Recommendations” tab of each account (excluding ignored suggestions).
- It will no longer be enough to have 1 certified administrator/standard user to be able to display the Google Partner badge (2 for Premier Partners), but at least half of the administrator/standard users connected to your company’s account manager will have to pass the Skillshop certifications (the accounts on this platform must be connected to the company’s one).
- Growth of invested budgets and new accounts managed will no longer be a requirement to obtain the badge, but you only need to spend more than 20,000$ (it was 10,000$) in your managed accounts in the last 3 months. These requirements will stay still for Premier Partners, who will be chosen among the 3% of the best partners in terms of expenditure, growth of invested budgets and customer retention.
Below is Google’s comparison chart look at what’s changing, which you can find on this help page.
The first consideration I have to make about these new Google Ads Partner Program is starting to get serious about the recommendations tab. All of us PPC Professionals had long noticed that the quality of suggestions has been definitely improving. Now ignoring that section may also have important consequences on the Partner badge (as well as on the performance of the campaigns). So, do it at your own risk.
For now, Google is still not so sure of all its automatic optimization suggestions to consider also the wrong / ignored ones among those used to evaluate the account, but I could bet that there is where we are going.
They have finally understood that more transparency was needed in the evaluation criteria of the managed accounts to obtain the Partner badge and that this has nothing to do with increasing budgets and new customers. This is one of the main reasons why I left the program in 2017, given that in my opinion the added value of a PPC Expert lies in the the fact that he/she has to be independent from the platforms used. The very reason for us being on the market is that we are free to suggest the best solution for each customer, without necessarily having to “push” one or the other for reasons different from expected performance.
Unfortunately, this underlying opacity remains for Premier Partners, but Google has already taken a step in the right direction by withdrawing this criterion for the bulk of Partners, I hope that sooner or later they will also drop it for top spenders.
Google Ads Partner Program will select based on a number of factors, including but not limited to: annual Ads spend across managed accounts, client growth, client retention, and other information. Evaluation is done on an annual basis and status may not be available in all markets.