Google Partners is a program provided by Google that allows marketing agencies and professionals to complete online certifications for every area of Google Ads. In addition to passing the certification exams, agencies are also required to meet & maintain specific performance criteria to earn and maintain their Partner status and badge.
In early 2020 Google announced a series of new changes for the service. This included an updated list of requirements that need to be achieved in order to keep your partner badge. These changes were originally planned to come into effect in June 2020, however, due to the pandemic the launch date was pushed back to February 2022 and the requirement list has been adjusted since then.
Any agencies that do not meet these new requirements will lose their partner status. Below is a list of the current and new requirements to become a Google Partner.
Original the minimum spend requirement was set to double to $20,000 per 90 days. This would have been an impactful change that would have resulted in many smaller PPC management agencies losing their partner status. However, since the delay this requirement has been relaxed and will remain at the current $10,000 spend for the foreseeable future.
The changes to the performance requirements were one of the most controversial. Google is switching to requirements that are completely based around their optimisation recommendation system. The new guidelines state that an average minimum optimisation score of 70% will be required across the accounts that you manage.
In their original plan, Google stated that dismissed optimisations will not count towards your 70% score requirement, forcing agencies to accept a minimum number of recommendations even if they are not suitable for the accounts they are managing. However, since the delay they have reversed this decision and recommendations can be dismissed without them counting against your overall optimisation score.
For the original partner badge, you had to have one affiliated user with a Google search certification. However, when the new requirements come into place, 50% of all affiliated accounts will require the search certification. In addition to this, you will also need a single user with the Display and Shopping certification. This remains as the only requirement that has not changed since the delay.
Google have recently updated their certification process and website, moving it over to Skillshop. This means that all previous certifications completed will now be considered legacy and will not qualify for the new partner badge. You will need to take your search certification again to update this.
Here is a handy comparison between the current and future criteria for your Google Partners badge.
Spend – $10,000 total spend over the last 90 days.
Performance – Based on the revenue growth and retention of your company’s clients, and your company’s growth in overall revenue and number of advertisers.
Certifications – At least 1 affiliated user needs to be certified in Google ads.
From February 2022
Spend – Will remain the same.
Performance – Based on the account optimisation score. An average of a 70% optimisation score must be achieved across all managed accounts.
Certifications – At least 50% of all affiliated users need to be certified in Google search, including one in Display ads & Shopping ads.
If you have any questions about the upcoming Google Partners Program changes or if you are looking for Google Ads support for your business, feel free to get in contact with our friendly team at Lowaire.