What is a Google partner? It is basically a certification by Google to prove that you’ve demonstrated AdWords skill and expertise.  It includes taking some simple exams, meet a minimum AdWords spend and create a company profile. You can get a full list of requirement here: https://support.google.com/partners/answer/3126965

Google sell it as a great package for small but growing agencies who need some of the benefits it brings to help them scale. The truth is, you’d be stupid to say no. The benefits sound great, but I’ll get into that later.

They have recently released a new Google partner premier badge. As explained before, literally anyone can pass these exams with a little bit of effort or even by cheating. This new badge was launched because larger agencies were fed up of looking the same as these smaller agencies. So Google decided to launch the premier badge which is given to agencies who several qualified members and have high spending accounts in Adwords.

The Pros

At the beginning, I was very excited to become a Google partner.  None of our competitors had completed it yet so we were first on the block to show off our badge.  Not only did we get a badge to add to the website, but we also got to rave about exclusive support from a dedicated member of the Google team along with promotional codes for new accounts.

We were also able to leverage some trust with new enquiries too, as we were able to offer additional support from a  member of the Google team to get in on phone calls and meetings.  Another good thing to come out of being a partner is that every now and again, we got to test out new functions and betas for Adwords before most other folks got their hands on it.

The Cons

Well, where do I start? Your dedicated support member from Google is just a salesmen. They don’t know a huge amount of technical elements for Adwords. Coincidently, they only seem to know of tactics and tips that tend to increase the client spend. They are not really willing to provide much support for low spending companies and tend to be very slow when you do need help.

There was one situation with our biggest PPC client (£25k a month) who had just launched a new site so the Google support person suggested that we stop the account and launch it in a new adwords account. This sounded too fishy so I questioned why and she said so that she can add herself to the account and support us with it for the next few months. As soon as she said that, I realised it was so she could have a big client spend associated to her account which I can only assume results in a nice bonus at the end of the year.

We also learnt along the way of other PPC agencies that were Google partners but were still abusing Adwords to benefit themselves instead of the client. They work on a percentage of PPC spend, so they will do anything they can to make the client spend more in order to get a bigger paycheck at the end of the month.