Google have now postponed their new Google Partners program that was supposed to launch in June to 2021 due to the on-going COVID 19 crisis.
Throughout this article we will cover what it means to be a Google Partner, the whole set of new requirements you need to earn your Google Partner status, and where you can find your Partner Badge progress. We will go over the requirements for the ‘regular’ Google Partner Badge. Note: there is a Premium Google Partner Badge that is granted to the top 3% of participating companies, for more information check out the requirements here.
Achieving the Google Partner status means that your company has demonstrated Google Ads skill and expertise, met Google ad spend requirements, delivered company, agency and client revenue growth, and sustained and grown its client base (all outlined down below in the requirements section). Furthermore, achieving Partner status grants you a Google Partner badge, as well as access to several benefits.
Google wants agencies to retain a healthy number of clients and continue company growth YoY, they have therefore doubled the minimum spend required to earn the Google Partners badge. Currently you need to meet a 90-day ad spend requirement of $10,000, while in 2021 you will need to have a minimum spend of $20,000 across all your managed accounts.
Currently, to achieve the partner badge only one person with Admin or Standard access needs to be certified. However, going forward, Google will require at least 50% of eligible users on an account to have updated Google Ad certifications. If you have completed some exams within the last year, they may not be valid anymore as the old exams no longer count towards the Google Partner Badge, even if they haven’t expired yet, so make sure you and your whole team complete the most recent certifications.
The greyed-out certifications no longer count towards the Google Partner Badge, even though they have not expired yet.
You will need to earn Google Ads Certifications in Search, Display, Video, and Shopping to be eligible for the Google Partner Badge. Google Certifications can be found on Skillshop. Certifications only last one year so be sure to keep them updated. The original deadline to complete the exams was June 2020, however, this has now been extended to 2021. Note: you can earn the certifications on your personal account and link them to your company’s account.
“Users need admin or standard level access to your company’s Google Partners registered Ads Manager account.
Admin or standard level access to any account linked to the company’s Google Partners registered Ads manager account and share an email domain (@domain_name) with a user of the Google Partners registered Ads Manager account (includes admin and standard email domains only).”
Source: Google Ads Help
If your clients have Admin or Standard level access, they may be considered eligible users. To make sure that only users from your company have access, you can restrict which email address domains can be invited to the account. To do this click on the ‘Tools & Setting’ button on the top right of your account, then under ‘Setup’ -> ‘Account access’ -> ‘Security Settings’ you can add your company’s email domain. This will make sure that only users with the allowed email domain will have access to the account.
For the current Partner badge, you must:
“Meet the performance requirement by delivering solid overall ad revenue and growth, and maintain and growing your customer base. Partners evaluates the client accounts linked to your manager account during an 18-month period. Partners requires at least 12 months of spend activity in your manager account”
Source: Google Ads Help
Pretty vague, right? Well, the new Partner Badge has a slight adjustment that now also requires you to have an optimisation score of at least 70%. Optimisation scores can be increased by applying recommendations given in the Recommendation tab.
I am sure you have all dismissed a recommendation before and still seen your optimisation score increase. Well, that will not work when trying to reach the 70% threshold for the Partners Badge as Google states that they will evaluate the optimisation score without dismissed recommendations for the company performance requirement.
Well you are SOL, friends. Google is now forcing us all to use their recommendations, even if they are not in line with the client’s needs. Just hope that there are enough recommendations that are useful to keep your overall optimisations score above 70%, or risk losing your Google Partner status. If you are not happy about these changes, you are not alone.
In your Google Ads account go to the ‘Partners program’ tab on the far left and then click on the ‘View Details’ button under the Badge status box.
This will take you to the Partner badge page as seen below. Make sure you check back on this page every so often to keep an eye on the requirement to maintain your Google Badge.
To summarise, the three main requirements to obtain a Google Partner Badge are Spend, Performance, and Certifications. With the new deadline changed from June 2020 to 2021 there should be plenty of time to make sure your accounts and certificates are in order if you wish to keep your current Partner Badge or apply for the first time.
If you are planning on signing up for the Google Partners program follow the link here for the full instructions.
This blog is part of the series ROAST Resources, providing you with the guides you need to execute your PPC strategy, check out this blog on choosing the right bid strategy for your paid search.