I was fortunate to receive an invite to the launch of the revamped Google Partners program held in November 2013 at MC Motors in London.
We kicked off with a couple of presentations. The first given by Mark Howe, who is the Agencies Managing Director. He was very clear on the importance of agency partners to Google in terms of the overall growth strategy and the role we can play in helping account owners to get a better return from their Google Ads investment.
Next up was Tim Frank (Global Product Manager for Partners) who explained the reasons behind the upgrade and development of the Google Partner program. It was apparent that a focus on partner education and a desire to continue to raise the quality of Google Ads support* in the marketplace was key.
With the new Partner program in place, many marketing consultants and agencies are no longer qualified. The old ‘AdWords Certified Partner‘ badge has been retired and only the Google Partner status is recognised. See ‘Accreditations‘, right, for example.
From a user perspective, this is good news as you have the link to the partner's profile as well as the option to search for an agency in the Google Partner directory. It's always been the case but now, more than ever, it is important that if you are in the market for an agency or consultant to manage your Google ads, that you can follow a link from their site to the Google Partners channel. Don't just rely on seeing the logo on a website!
Irrespective of which badge is being displayed, if there is no link to the profile on Google's own partner site, do not trust it!
Hopefully, this is just the start of good things to come in terms of support for their partners. Google have spent some money and considerable time on this revamp which was long overdue.
May 2019 Update
* Just as part of an overall site update, I re-read this post from 2013. The sentence “It was apparent that a focus on partner education and a desire to continue to raise the quality of Google Ads support*” caught my eye and I reflected on how well, or not, Google has done with this aim. The Google Partners portal has gone. The Google Partners community on G+ has gone. Support quality has, in the main, declined.