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The “Google Partner” Dilemma

You may have received emails from SEO or Marketing companies that boast of being a “Google Partner”. It sounds really good – wouldn’t a company that is a partner of Google have the best chance of getting you seen in the search results? They must have a lot of experience or a specialized background, right? They must be worth whatever they charge, if they have an “in” with Google!  Well, they DO have to have a certification from Google Ads...

Google Partner

For a company to become a Google Partner, a few things are required.

  1. The company has to have an Ads Manager account that is at least 90 days old.
    Second, a member of the staff (just one) must become certified in a Google Ads product area, such as Google Ads Fundamentals, Display Advertising, etc. This requirement actually takes some time and has some value. The individual has to take online “courses” through the Google Ads Academy. These courses can take some time, up to several hours per course, and the employee must also pass the skills assessment. These assessments must be repeated yearly.
  2. That employee must have access to the company’s top-level Ads Manager account.
  3. The agency must have an ad spend of at least $10,000 every 3 months.
    In other words, the marketing firm must spend at least $10,000 in ads, which typically comes from its clients' ads, every 3 months. 
  4. The agency must “Demonstrate your performance by delivering strong client and company growth” as per Google Partners Assessment. This means keeping clients buying Ads via your agency for at least 12 months, adding new Ads customers, and added Ads spending.

To qualify for a Premier Partner designation, at least two employees have to become certified, and the agency has to “meet a higher spend requirement” – that number is not published.

So while the Ads Academy is great to train people in how to use Google Ads, the main requirement is that $10,000 plus per quarter spend. This means that Google Partners must be constantly trying to add new clients and convince their current clients to keep spending on Ads, via their agency accounts.

This also means that a company with well-trained marketers which does not require their customers to keep their Ads Manager in an agency account will never become a Google Partner.

  • Google Partner does not mean that a company has experienced, seasoned marketers, developers or managers.
  • It doesn’t mean that they can help boost you in Google just by dint of that badge.
  • It absolutely does not mean they have an “IN” with Google.

Before you are dazzled by a “Google Partners” badge on a company’s email signature or website, make sure you know what that means, and what it doesn’t mean for your bottom line.

A Few Final Comments on Google Ads

Google Ads, previously called Adwords, is a marketing option that Acorn Internet Services has been providing since our inception.  As with all advertising money that you choose to spend, you MUST make sure it is converting at a quality conversion rate.  If not, then adjustments should be made.  If the program still does not convert at an acceptable rate, then this may not be the best advertising option for your business. 

One Caveat: If an OTA or other company is buying your Inn Name as part of their Google Ad's program, then you will definitely want to consider using an Google Ads program to compete against their ads.  

Basically, it's one thing for a digital marketing firm to offer to administer Google Ads as a way to HELP their clients, versus the client doing it themselves .  A quality firm will monitor the bookings resulting from these ads in order to validate the ROI (Return on Investment) to be a good investment. 

You will want to avoid any firm that is being driven by a 10K+ a quarter spend with Google simply so they have "bragging rights" to use the Google Partner logo. 

Get proof in advance that their program has the potential to produce successful results.  They should be able to show proof that their Google Ads programs are making money for their current clients.  Also, before you sign on the dotted line, make sure that you are able to drop the program at any time should you find it isn't delivering the ROI you expected.

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