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Google Partner scheme changing in spring 2022

Another new Google Partner scheme! Has this come just at the right time as agencies within online forums are starting to comment on how the level of support towards agencies has dropped over the last few years.

5 Years ago, I had support from Google’s Dublin office, a strategist based around the corner in Leeds and several training, development events throughout the year. If you came across a problem, you had the support to find a quick solution.

At the moment, Google is using overseas agencies to support agencies and standard Google Ads users. Spain is the choice for agencies and India for standard UK advertisers and as a backup for us. The quality of support has dropped dramatically over the last 12 months combined with the Indian call centre approaching agencies clients directly providing unhelpful advice.

But great news Google has listened, improvements are on the way and the old glory days just around the corner! With a launch date of spring 2022, the full details of the new program have not been released. However, the initial indications are not great or practical, and we will join many agencies wondering if the badge will be a symbol of following Google’s latest fads or maximising the effectiveness of this powerful advertising platform.

You are awarded a badge if your performance is to a required standard; this uses measures such as click-through-rates and other meaningful metrics. It requires a minimum spend of £10k per quarter and passing their Google Ads qualifications.

The new rules are very similar, with a minimum spend of £20k per quarter, 50% of users on your account passing the qualifications and the performance element now requires you to follow Google’s recommendations. Not a bid deal? Let us explain.

Spend: £20k this is no big issue with the majority of partners breaking this ceiling on a weekly if not daily basis.

Qualifications: If we were assessed on these criteria today, we would not pass the required 50% threshold. This is not down to us not being qualified but the structure of our accounts, having clients as users on their accounts. Unless we ask clients to study and pass Google exams, this will require a restructure and different access for clients to their accounts.

Performance: This is our greatest conecern; Google provides us with regular recommendations on each of the accounts we manage. We currently review and action the elements that make sense and dismiss the aspects that are not valid or go against the current strategy. From spring 2022, Google will only provide the performance elements and ultimately, Google badge to agencies that follow their prefered strategy and recommendations.

Should we worry about the new partnership badge? Or will over the next 12 months agencies not obtaining the badge display an ability to think out of the box, create campaigns that outperform the prescription formula Google prescribe and provide clients with a higher ROI from their advertising investment.