Google's digital marketing certification means something

All Google certificates at a glance

Since there is unfortunately no current and complete summary that summarizes all Google certificates, the following article should give an overview. Which Google certificates are currently available? What do you have to do or show to receive it?

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For which areas does Google offer certificates?

Google now offers a variety of certificates for a wide variety of areas. There are different types and levels of certification that cover business, education, and web development.

While there used to be only certificates for the areas Google AdWords and Google Analytics There were some new certificates for other areas such as IT and development.

Especially with the certificates for Google Ads we are currently in a transition phase. After Google restructured its own marketing products in July 2018 Google Ads and the Google Marketing Platform There are currently various parallel certificate types with the Google Ads certifications and the Marketing Platform certificates. Not even all information has been updated in Google Help, so everything is a bit confusing at the moment.

The Google Partner Program will be discontinued at the end of 2018, as it will be transferred to Google Ads according to Google. Nevertheless, I have listed the partner certificates in this overview.

Nevertheless, I am trying to shed some light on the confusion of certificates.

What is the Google Partner Certificate?

After the introduction of theGoogle AdWords Certification Program became theGoogle Partner Program introduced for service providers. Since October 2013, qualified agencies have been able to use the Google partner program participate and receive the corresponding logo as a seal of quality:

Particularly committed agencies have been able to receive the Google Premium Partner Certificate as an upgrade since June 2016.

To anticipate it. It is uncertain how Google will proceed with the Google Partner Certificate in the future, as the Google Marketing Platform Certificate listed below provides a new alternative.

How can you become a Google partner?

According to Google, in order to become a certified partner and receive the logo, a company must meet the following requirements:

Company profile: The company must have a fully completed Google Partner profile. This includes the Google+ page of the company, the logo, contact details, etc. Thus, the company can also be in the Google partner search be found by potential customers.

expenditure: The company must demonstrate total spend on ads of at least € 7,500 over a period of 90 days. For 60 of the 90 days, expenses must have been managed via the customer center account linked to the company.

Certifications: At least one employee must have the required Ads certifications (more on this in the following section).

Best Practices: The company should conduct its ads advertising according to the best practices specified by Google. In addition to the use of various alignment and optimization methods in the available advertising networks (search network, display network, YouTube), attention is also paid to customer care.

Detailed information & tips on best practices:

If the above criteria are met, the company receives the official Google partner logo and an entry in the Google partner search. The Google partner badge must be linked to the Google+ profile page if the company has achieved certification under the partner program. Checking this link is the simplest way for potential customers or advertisers to check the authenticity of the certificate.


Differentiation between the Google Partner and Google Premium Partner certificates

Regarding the exact differentiation between the two Google partner certificates “normal” and premium, nothing can be found from official Google sources. The information about the differences is quite imprecise. Apart from the fact that at least two people must have the AdWords certificate for the premium certificate, only information that is very imprecise can be found. So it says "You must meet higher minimum spending requirements“Or you should have a steadily growing number of customers and sales.

Source: Google,

An indication of further minimum requirements for the premium certificate could be the minimum information in the Google partner profile:

The future of the Google Partner Certificate is uncertain

As already mentioned, Google closed the partner portal in 2018 and integrated the partner profiles into the Google Ads management interface.


Example of a Google Partner Premium profile

It is uncertain how Google will proceed with the Google Partner Certificate in the future, as the Google Marketing Platform Certificate listed below provides a new alternative.

What is Google Ads Individual Certification?

To become an ads specialist (formerly Google AdWords Professional) to qualify and receive the corresponding certificate, you have to successfully pass two of the exams available in your own partner account. The first exam covers the Basics of Ads, the advanced exam must either be in the area Search engine marketing,Display advertising, mobile advertising, video advertising or advertising on Google Shopping be completed.

Screenshot requirements AdWords basics

To prepare for the exam, the Google partner account Appropriate learning modules are offered in each case.

Overview of advanced exams Google Ads

Have you passed the required exams and are allowed to do so Ads specialist there is no longer a logo that can be used to distinguish yourself as such. Although the qualifications of the employees are displayed in the company's partner profile, it is currently not possible for individuals to prove that they have officially received the certificate. This will not change in the future, as Google Product Manager Tim Frank im Google Partners Community Q&A approved. Google acts here "in the best interests of the end customer" and therefore only issues the official logo at company level, but no longer supports profiles of individuals. It is argued that people who are self-employed full-time as ads specialists could also found a company and professionalize their own online presence.

However, each individual who has successfully passed an examination receives a certificate which is used as personal evidence.

Example: AdWords certificate from one of our employees

To what extent the Google Ads certifications for individuals will be replaced by the individual certifications for Google products explained below is not clear at the moment.


What does Google Marketing Platform Certified mean?

The Google Marketing Platform Certificate is intended for service providers who are familiar with the Google Marketing Platform.

To a Google Marketing Platform Certified to become the company must meet certain criteria in terms of size and number of employees. But there are no clear statements about this. In addition, the following criteria must be met:

  • The company must have at least five full-time employees who work with the Google Marketing Platform products and have passed the associated certification exams. Team size, expertise and certification rates also play a role.
  • You have to provide Google with documentation of processes and concepts for solving complex projects from day-to-day work in order to prove that you are working professionally.
  • You have to submit at least two specific projects to Google, which are evaluated according to the following points:
    • Strategic planning and optimization according to the client's business goals
    • The project has to show that you are able to support customers beyond the standard settings
    • Statistics / reports must be used to prove that the customer's goals have been achieved.

The following product certifications must be obtained by at least five people:

  • Display & Video 360 certification
  • Search Ads 360 certification
  • Campaign Manager Certification
  • Creative certification

The individual exams can be carried out at the Academy for Ads.

To what extent the individual product certificates will replace the aforementioned Google Ads certifications for individuals is not clear at the moment.

What are Google Marketing Platform Sales Partners?

The Google Marketing Platform Sales Partner Certificate is a further development of the former Premium SME partner certificate. I think the name is much better because it is clearer that these service providers primarily support Google in sales. The certificate says nothing about their quality as a service provider for Google products.


What are Google Premium SMB Partners?

Another certificate is that Google Premium SMB Partner Certificate. This is an extension of the Google partnerProgram for large companies and agencies. This certificate is essentially reserved for companies with a customer base of several hundred or thousands of advertisers and correspondingly extensive experience in working with small and medium-sized companies. Furthermore, an operational infrastructure must be available that allows the administration and, above all, the support of such a large number of customers.

In addition, companies must complete training and certification in product and account management, although the requirements for the existing expertise are higher than for Google, according to Google Google partner program. Unfortunately, it is not exactly clear what these increased requirements are. Further conditions of participation will only be announced upon direct request.

In accordance with the extensive requirements, the list of German companies with this certification is very short; there are currently only 20 companies Google Premium SMB Partner.

Significant differences between the Google partner program and Google Premium SMB Partners are obviously in the care of Google, as can be seen in the following overview:

A more detailed description of the collaboration assigned partner managers or the common advertising unfortunately does not exist. It is certainly also interesting for advertisers, according to which criteria the annual company evaluation takes place and where exactly the Performance incentives consist.

However, Google advertises that as an SME partner you can stand out from the crowd, offer customers innovative and powerful digital marketing solutions and increase your own business through direct cooperation with Google.

What are the Google Certificates for Trainers and Instructors?

The Google for Education certificates at a glance

Google offers with the Certified Educator, Certified trainer and Certified Innovator Certificates of Education. These certificates are specifically intended for people who are supposed to lead seminars on behalf of Google. These are the following certificates in detail.

  • Google Certified Educator (Level 1, Level 2)
  • Google for Education certified trainer
  • Google for Education certified innovator

More on Google for Education




Google Analytics IQ Certificate for Individuals

An exam must be passed for the Google Analytics IQ certificate. Like the Google Ads certifications, this can be carried out through the Academy for Ads. There is no certificate logo.

More about the Google Analytics IQ certificates.

Certificates from the Google future workshop

The certificates of the Google Zukunftwerkstatt are awarded to people who have attended the seminars online or on site. Special programs are offered for students, trainees, faculty and organizations.

The range of topics is very broad and deals with topics related to the Internet.

More about the Google future workshop.

What is the Google Developers Certification?

The Google Developer Certifications are divided into the following partial certificates:

  • Mobile web specialist
  • Google Cloud Certified - Professional Cloud Architect
  • Google Cloud Certified -Professional Data Engineer
  • Google Cloud Certified - Associate Cloud Engineer

The Google Cloud Certificates

More about the Google Developer Certificates.


What is the Google IT Support Professional Certificate?

In addition to the developer certificate already mentioned, Google offers a further technical certificate with the Google IT Support Professional certificate. Together with its partner coursera, Google offers a training program for IT specialists. The course is an initiative of the Grow with Google project and is scheduled for 8 months and 8-10 hours per week.

More about the Google IT Support Professional Certificate.

What is the Google Certified Publishing Partner?

The Google Certified Publishing Partner Certificate

The Google Certified Publishing Partner Certificate is intended for particularly trustworthy publishers who want to support Google with technology, training and marketing. Here are some of the benefits of the program:

More about the Google Certified Publisher Program.


There are no SEO certificates from Google

Some SEO service providers advertise in the SEO context that they are Google certified or Google partners. There is no official Google certificate for search engine optimization. But I ran into the most brazen example of a Google dream certificate from a colleague on Google+:

This certificate seal is an outdated AdWords certificate in which the word AdWords was simply overwritten with SEO. And the colleague seems to work at Google Double Click too, which he most likely doesn't.

Another dubious method of the certificate business is “creating your own test seals and customer satisfaction seals, which you can then happily sell on to your own customers. This is what happened with this example of an online marketing agency in Hanover.