Google Sells Endorsements to SEO Agencies
Last time I have written about Google on this blog I promised to be more positive about the
search-monopolist mega-corporation advertising company.
You know, it’s not easy for me after all the issues I had with Google. Nonetheless this time I decided to write an endearing article.
For years, maybe even a decade, Google has been explaining to business owners interested in search engine optimization services that you have to
“Beware of SEOs that (…) allege a “special relationship” with Google (…).”
Not in 2014 anymore! Finally Google decided to cooperate fully with the SEO industry to bring the best possible SEO advice to business owners.
Google now sells endorsements to SEO agencies. How do I know? I just got approached by an SEO agency that flaunts such an endorsement.
At first I was like “whoa, this must be fake!” Then I clicked the link on their site to their Google Partners profile. There it was. Google really endorsed them.
Apparently the generic Google Partners badges have replaced the old “Google Adwords certified partner” or “Google Analytics certified partner” ones.
It’s obvious now that the badge also encompasses not only Google ads services but is an overall endorsement.
The partial screen shot above shows the services of one of the agencies listed in my area.
How do you get a Google endorsement? You have to pass at least two online exams that are available a click away from your Google Partners profile.
Apart of that you need to (as the ToS says below point 9. b. V.):
“reach a minimum level of managed spend in the accounts within your MCC;”
In plain English you need to buy enough Google ads to get endorsed as an SEO company by Google.
Evidently that’s a very popular offer because Google already promotes it with “5000” partners you can search from.
I wonder then why they need an apparently made up testimonial on their homepage to promote it:
You might have guessed it, 279digital.com does not exist. The URL leads back to the Google Partners homepage. Judy Nam herself exists all right but she works for Google marketing:
Another direct benefit of the Google Partners program for SEO is that you get a link from Google on your partner profile.
The endorsement is not crippled by the so called “nofollow” attribute.
Sadly it’s not just the link exchange I have hoped for. Can someone who has such a badge please tell me how much you need to spend on Adwords per month to get one?
Well It’s not a surprise if you think about it, Google already started answering most of the “seo issues” where they explained sort of what’s good from the bad,
Don’t worry it’s not like they have SEO listed as a job function on the signup form, oh wait they actually do… never mind…
Want to be anonymous, but I worked at a google partner agency and I believe our adwords spend had to hit 15k monthly in our MCC.
I had started doing the Google Individual Certification where you don’t have to have a minimum spend. I thought it was a good idea as it enabled me as a small business to be able to offer my services for Adwords clients. However Google got rid of the Individual Certification & replaced it with the Partner Certification, in my opinion cutting out small businesses. It means I can’t do it now as according to Google spend requirements you must have at least $10,000 in total Adwords spend over 90 calendar days.
It’s $10k every 90 days to qualify.
“Don’t be evil”.
$10k in 90days isn’t much though. That’s 2 clients with a $56 a day as spend.
The real question is ‘what is the value’ I doubt many users are going to trawl through a list of 5000 agencies. It’s more so “SEOs have big heads, how can we get them to sell Adwords”.
Ghee.. great plain make all of your “Partners” have to reach a quota of sales to insure that they push adwords. So you can make like $150 getting your clients to spend $1500 on adwords,, ahh No Thanks..
Reminds me of one of those tupperware, lotion,…adwords? sales schemes.
May be it’s just me, but clients rather deal with Google PPC-Reps then having to pay me for analyzing their spend and setting up the parameters. Having the knowledge is a good thing and meeting the rest of the qualifications is ok by me. Only oops, $10,K for PPC that leaves many of the smaller Agencies in the cold
I’ve seen so many examples of Google favoring resellers that I kinda missed counting them.
Guess analytics is a good example when you filter accesse by device and there it is” Who sells Galaxy S3 or even iPhone” right there on your analytics report.
On one hand, I do not think oan can point a thick finger at G sayin “you are a no good SOB” because it CAN be that some mkt genious or an irreponsible engineer planned some of theses features. But one should point a thick finger at G sayin “don’t you look at what goes on in your own company?”
And everytime i read “Hello SEO-FOlks” i can’t help feeling like “hello you poor suckers”
[…] I got into a small debate with someone on twitter over this – but none the less this should annoy the hell out of you guys Google Sells Endorsements to SEO Agencies […]
The partner program is pretty new at the moment, and only the AdWords certifications have been integrated into it. So there are 3 AdWords exams you can do, and you need to pass 2 of them to qualify.
You also have to have 2 people from your organisation pass the exams before you can apply to become a partner. So freelance consultants wouldn’t be eligable.
I’m not sure where you’re getting the SEO stuff from though. The partner network is nothing t do with SEO. It’s purely AdWords.
I do know that there are plans to move the Google Analytics exams into the partner network too. So you’ll be able to become Google AdWords partners and/or Google Analytics partners.
Google don’t have any such partnership program for SEO and nor do they endorse any SEO company in any way. Any agency that trys to use the partnership badge as an SEO endorsement rather than an AdWords endorsement is on a blag, and shouldn’t be trusted.
Matts Backpack: Just take a look at how SEO agencies use this badge, example: seoinc.com
“Nothing to do with SEO?” ROFL.
[…] won’t need to much more than buying online advertising from the behemoth, at least according to Tadeusz Szewczyk. Read his perspective on obtaining Google […]
As an SEO I want and would leverage this, but my disdain for handling client PPC campaigns is too strong.
Obviously, it’s intended for AdWords, but using “Partner” is a heavy implication that can only help agencies that sling SEO services.
Yeah as others has said its mainly a PPC endorsement. The two exams you have to pass are both Adwords related, and its a $10k over 90 days (it did used to be $15k) required on the spend.
That being said there is a third part to gaining the Partner status, which is you have to show best practices are used on your campaigns. This ensures your clients campaigns are performing well and demonstrates that, as a Partner, you are practicing what you have learnt.
Also the Google Partner badge even says its an Adwords Certified Partner, really its just a replacement of the old Google Adwords Certification Program
Again Jack, have you looked how SEO agencies are using the badge? I have. Even companies who have been penalized publicly by Google in the past like seoinc.com flaunt the badge on their SEO oriented homepage with barely a mention of PPC at all.
Yeah I see what you are saying, and from just a quick glance it can look like a Google endorsement. I just wish the badge had made the Adwords aspect of it a bit more prominent so people wouldn’t confuse it with organic based work
That’s right, Tad! Seoinc.com is linked without a nofollow in the Partner page: www. google .com/partners/#a_profile;idtf=3094402241;
– Luana S.