Shortcuts can be very tempting when you are vetting digital agencies. Certifications can certainly help set a reputable agency apart from the crowd—but do you know what these accreditations really mean?
Though many agencies tout being a Google Partner, there is a lot of misunderstanding around what this qualification actually means.
This article explains the basics of the Google Partner program, including how agencies earn this certification and the benefits available to firms that work with a Google Partner agency.
What is the Google Partner program?
The Google Partner program is a way for Google to certify third parties and agencies that have been specially trained to manage some of Google’s programs (like Google Ads) on behalf of other businesses. This program offers useful benefits like educational resources, support, and rewards to help clients get the absolute most out of their Ads campaigns.
After proving competency, an agency can display the Google Partner badge on its website.
To qualify for the Google Partner designation, a “minimum number of individuals” within an agency must pass stringent certification exams to demonstrate proficiency. There are three required categories for Google Partner manager accounts, and each category is reviewed daily for compliance.
- Performance, where a manager account must maintain a minimum optimization score of 70%.
- Spend, which requires a minimum spend of $10,000 USD across all managed accounts.
- Certification, where a minimum of 50% of account strategists must be certified in Google Ads with at least one certification in each product area where campaign spend is $500 USD or more within 90 days.
The top 3% of Google Partner agencies are Premier Partners, as measured by client growth, retention, product diversification, and ad spend.
The official Google Partner badge is the quickest way to verify an agency’s status as Google Partner.
However, the badge is not enough to prove active participation in the program. A fraudulent—or forgetful—agency could still display the badge without having earned the most up-to-date certification.
The best way to verify an agency’s status is to find its name in the Google Directory.
If you want to entrust your agency to skillful, recently trained professionals, then you should hire an agency that is a certified Google Partner.
On the one hand, a Google Partner certification provides no special boost when it comes to your site’s ranking on the search engine. But a certified agency is far better equipped to help you rank higher by utilizing marketing practices that have been approved by Google.
Review and next steps
A Google Partner is an agency or third party that has earned Google’s certification to manage marketing products like Google Ads. You can look for the Google Partner badge on an agency’s website and verify this status in the Google Directory.