New Enhanced Version of Google Advertising Professionals Program

    April 21, 2005

The early version of the Google Advertising Professionals program was a start towards recognizing third party consultants, but it was pretty limited.

Tonight across the wires comes an announcement of an enhanced version of the program. Some of the new benefits to those who become qualified in the program includes advertising credits to offer to clients.

To me, the biggest step forward is Google recognizing not just “individual professionals,” but those entities called “companies,” aka “firms,” aka agencies (be they large or tiny). There are new provisions for collectively qualifying staff under the agency banner for firms employing five qualified Google Advertising Professionals or more.

This is the beginning — and I stress beginning — of the possibility of cementing more consistent relationships in this corner of the online advertising business. For now, company status in the program is only available in the U.S. Kinda sucks for me and my company — 80%+ of our clients are located in the U.S. but we are duly incorporated in the province of Ontario. But what are you gonna do. It’ll be another few months before we get to put the pretty logo on our site.

It is interesting to watch how far Google has evolved since they released AdWords (version 2) in 2002, full of hope of near-total automation. Since then they have learned that running a $5 billion / year ad operation requires massive amounts of people power and the care and feeding of the company’s global army of heretofore-unpaid evangelists.

More and more, you get the feeling Google is comparing its own evolution to that of Microsoft, and realizing that certain strategies are necessary for long-term survival.

Andrew Goodman is Principal of Page Zero Media, a marketing consultancy which focuses on maximizing clients’ paid search marketing campaigns.

In 1999 Andrew co-founded, an acclaimed “guide to portals” which foresaw the rise of trends such as paid search and semantic analysis.