Important news for Google Ads Partners

Important news for Google Ads Partners

Tonight I received an email directly from Google anticipating that starting from June 2020 part of the verification criteria for Google Ads Partner program will change.

As far as I have read / understood the most important news are:

  • Performance criteria for maintaining Partner’s badge will be more transparent and will directly refer to the optimization score highlighted in the “Recommendations” tab of each account, which will have to be above 70% (2/20 update).
  • It will no longer be enough to have 1 certified administrator/standard user to be able to display the Google Partner badge (2 for Premier Partners), but at least half of the administrator/standard users connected to your company’s account manager will have to pass the skillshop certifications (the accounts on this platform must be connected to the company’s one).
  • Growth of invested budgets and new accounts managed will no longer be a requirement to obtain the badge, but you only need to spend more than 20,000$ (it was 10,000$) in your managed accounts in the last 3 months. These requirements will stay still for Premier Partners, who will be chosen among the 3% of the best partners in terms of expenditure, growth of invested budgets and customer retention.

See a comparison table between current and future criteria.

The first consideration I have to make about these new criteria is that Google is starting to get serious about the recommendations tab. All of us PPC professionals had long noticed that the quality of suggestions has been definitely improving. Now ignoring that section may also have important consequences on the Partner badge (as well as on the performance of the campaigns). So, do it at your own risk.

It is not very clear how Google will deal with suggestions ignored by the advertiser (whether or not they will be considered to evaluate the account’s optimization level). They will probably have a negative weight, especially if you do not specify the reason why you ignore them, otherwise it would be too simple to maintain a good optimization score by systematically ignoring them (Editor’s note: 20/2 update).

They have finally understood that more transparency was needed in the evaluation criteria of the managed accounts to obtain the Partner badge and that this has nothing to do with increasing budgets and new customers. This is one of the main reasons why I left the program in 2017, given that in my opinion the added value of a PPC professional lies in the the fact that he/she has to be independent from the platforms used. The very reason for us being on the market is that we are free to suggest the best solution for each customer, without necessarily having to “push” one or the other for reasons different from expected performance.

Unfortunately, this underlying opacity remains for Premier Partners, but Google has already taken a step in the right direction by withdrawing this criterion for the bulk of Partners, I hope that sooner or later they will also drop it for top spenders.

Gianpaolo Lorusso
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