Having been a Google Partner for many years now, I wanted to talk about my experience and how Google recognises pay per click agencies and the work we do.
There was a time where being ‘Google Certified’ separated elite pay per click managers from average Joe’s. Nowadays being certified is a little like holding a driving license. If you want to drive campaigns on behalf of another business, you simply have to have one. This is good of course, but it’s worth noting that it’s no longer a sign of excellence, but a basic requirement.
Google does promote being a Partner as a way of attracting new clients, but in reality it doesn’t really do this for pay per click agencies. There are far more sophisticated databases out there such as the Recommended Agency Register (RAR). The RAR allows agencies to gain references, therefore giving potential clients real insight and a clear ranking system.
Instead, the main advantage of the Google Partner program is the support it gives to agencies for introducing new business to Adwords. We can get anything from industry insight to whole campaign builds if we wish. (We like to build campaigns our own way, based on our methodology, but it’s nice to know they’re willing to get involved).
So are Google helping us out of the goodness of their heart? Of course not. Google recognises pay per click agencies can increase their salesforce by 100-fold. You begin to understand the importance of this when you consider over 581k new businesses were registered with Companies House in 2014. That’s a lot of potential new spend on Adwords!
But before you start buying into the view that Google are this big, evil money-grabbing monster, hold your horses. Adwords is the most sophisticated, measurable advertising model of the last 15 years, and in my opinion, the more businesses that unlock its potential, the better.
Google’s commitment to driving new business and getting pay per click agencies involved is commendable. In the old days all we had in our toolbox was a cheeky £50 voucher and off we were sent on our merry way. Nowadays, although the vouchers still exist, there are far greater incentives.
For example, earlier this year we took part in Google’s Grow Local initiative; a competition for pay per click agencies to encourage local businesses onto Adwords. We were one of the proud winners (read about it here), and Google recognised our efforts by throwing a wonderful garden party at the Barbican.
Then therre was Google’s Ready to Rock incentive which followed later this year. The target was the same (to bring more clients onto Adwords), with the top prize being an agency recording studio! Pretty darn cool I have to say.
Where Google can do better from an agency perspective, is offering greater help to the middle-ground accounts. If you’re an established brand, and/or spend a lot on Adwords, they’ll often assign you a personal account manager. However there’s a support gap for clients who aren’t new to Adwords, but aren’t big enough either. Is a phone number and the opportunities tab enough? In my opinion, no.
Ultimately though, Google recognises pay per click agencies can help them achieve their goals, and we recognise the effort they’re making to build agency relationships.