Tips for Going Pro

What exactly does it mean to become a Google Advertising Professional? This question and many others tumbled into my mind when I first heard about this qualification and title.

As I began my quest for Google Glory, I quickly became aware of the lengthy list of training modules provided by the AdWords Learning Center. I immediately felt overwhelmed.  But then I saw the word “Professional” in the title of all of those who passed this test. I began pondering the meaning of this label. When looking up synonyms for this title “Professional” I found terms like: polished, practiced, proficient, qualified, sharp, skillful, slick (my favorite), and well-qualified . I thought to myself, this is something I definitely wanted associated with my name.

 After many hours of reading text lessons, watching PowerPoint’s, and taking practice quizzes I Passed the Google AdWords Exam.  Although the exam is multiple guess there are still many “tricky” questions that can fool you if you don’t study for it.  Here are some of my recommendations if you are planning on taking the Test:

Studying:  Watch all of the multimedia Lessons and take the quiz after each one. Once you finish all of the modules, go back and retake the quizzes until you understand all of the material. You can find the multimedia lessons at:  http://www.google.com/adwords/learningcenter/

Taking The Test: The most important thing to remember is that the AdWords test is timed. Google gives you 90 minutes to answer 110 questions. They do this to make sure you are not looking up every question.   My strategy was to answer all of the questions I knew first, and then go back and research the ones I didn’t. In the upper right hand corner of the test there is a button that that says: “check for review”. Check this box if you are confused about a question and move on.  If you know your stuff you can answer 90% of the questions right away, then go back and look up how many Chinese characters you are allowed to use in the headline of a creative (an actual question).

Here is Google’s list of requirements and reasons for becoming an Advertising Professional.:

Google Advertising Professionals program Qualification

  1. Sign up for the program.
  2. Manage at least one AdWords account in My Client Center for 90 days.
  3. Build and maintain at least $1,000 total spend for your or your team’s My Client Center account during the 90-day period.
  4. Pass the Google Advertising Professional Exam ($50 to take).

The Significance of being Qualified

  • Google’s recognition as a tested and Qualified AdWords Individual or Company.
  • The official AdWords Qualified Individual or Company Logo, which can be displayed on your website and in many other materials to showcase your skills and help attract clients.
  • Distinction as a skilled professional.
  • A Professional Status page which profiles your business name and displays Google’s validation that you’re an authentic Qualified Individual or Company within Google Advertising Professionals program.
  • Promotional credits at a higher value, which can be applied to new client accounts to help bring in more business.
  • A warm, fuzzy feeling for this grand accomplishment.

I have been a Google Professional now for 5 days and the warm fuzzy feeling has all but worn off.  Nevertheless Google did give me this logo to put wherever I want.

Coming in Mid-May 2012, as seen by all who have logged into AdWords the past 2 days have seen, (https://support.google.com/adwords/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=2537522) expect to the newest addition to the Google Match-Type menu:  “Phrase” & [Exact] match Close Variants.

“Your ad will be eligible to show when people search for close variants — yes, that includes misspellings — of your keywords. In addition to misspellings, other close variants include singular and plural forms, acronyms, stemmings (such asfloor and flooring), abbreviations, and accents.”

According to Google’s example: [tennis shoes], you may receive impressions from the following search phrases.

  • tennis shoes
  • tenis shoe
  • red tennis shoes
  • buy tennis shoes
  • buy tenis shoe

As an account manager who has yet to see a change implemented in AdWords which has yielded a lower cost-per-click, I remain quite skeptical in this offering to advertisers.  This option clearly blurs the line between modified broad match and phrase match.

Most of the accounts I have managed demonstrated a higher CPC for exact match & phrase match over broad.  What I see this new feature causing is a funneling effect of competition onto mutual words which may not have been covered in all of their accounts.  So instead of 10 advertisers who are bidding on [Tennis Shoes] and one on [Tenis Shoe], there is now 10 advertisers on both.

I commend Google for allowing this feature to be activated or disabled at the campaign level, but it is yet to be seen whether or not this feature will default to active when new campaigns are created… like the display network.

I have been a Google Professional now for 5 days and the warm fuzzy feeling has all but worn off. Nevertheless, Google did give me this logo to put wherever I want.

Good luck with your testing, and I hope this helps.


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