Google Adwords Certification Bootcamp

How to Think Like Google

Yesterday I attended the Google Adwords Certification Bootcamp in London. Organised by Google, the bootcamp is held with the sole purpose of getting as many digital agency delegates as possible to pass their Google Adwords Partner certification. The training course was led by a course leader with a number of years experience of managing Google Adwords. The course leader affirmed on several occasions that the exams would be passed as long as the delegates “Think like Google”. The more experienced PPC managers were also told to forget about any of their unorthodox approaches and to focus instead throughout on Google’s officially recommended approach.

The Google Partner Badge

The Google Partner Badge

The Benefits of Being a Google Partner

Once delegates pass both the Adwords Fundamentals and Advanced Adwords exams they, and their agencies, are entitled to display the Google Partner badge on their websites (See Google Partner image). This links to a central register controlled by Google. As Google Partners, they also gain the benefit of increased marketing support.

Each exam tests delegates across approximately 100 questions relating to their understanding of the following subject areas:

The core components of both exams are as follows:

Adwords Fundamentals Certification

  • Introduction to AdWords
  • Account Management
  • Campaign and Ad Group Management
  • Keyword, language and location targeting
  • Ad Formats
  • Budgets and Bidding
  • Measurements and Optimisation
  • Managing Multiple Accounts
  • Performance, Profitability and Growth

Adwords Advanced Certification

  • Ad Formats
  • Ad & Site Quality
  • AdWords Tools
  • Performance Monitoring & Reporting
  • Optimising Performance
  • Performance, Profitability & Growth
  • AdWords API

The Google Certification Pass Rate

Both Google exams require an 80% pass rate. Despite working with Google Adwords since 2004, and also having successfully led many PPC training courses, I have never previously taken either exam. The course was held for about 50 delegates. Fortunately, I passed both exams and, as a result, the Simply Clicks website now carries the Google Partners badge.

Key Observations from the Bootcamp

My key observation is that the Adwords Bootcamp is extremely well organised by Google, with lots of good content. And from participant feedback, it appears that most delegates passed both exams. I certainly improved my knowledge of areas such as display and mobile search. However, in many ways, the course does not teach you how to manage a PPC campaign. At no point are you asked to analyse any data, structure a campaign or write an effective ad. The exam merely sets a minimum benchmark of quality.

The good news is that attending the course has increased my appetite for learning more about digital marketing. And my next step will be to start the process of preparing for and taking the Google Analytics exam. Unfortunately, for that there is no bootcamp!

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