Google launched their new Google Partners program in an event at Aloft hotel on November 20th, replacing their old Google AdWords Certified Partner and Google Engage Partner programs. I was one of the four panelist that night, where we were asked about our experiences and for our feedback as a partner.
Kudos to Pinky and her team for organizing a memorable event that included a photo booth, presentation and Q&A from/with Matt Zaheen, gifts and games, freeflow of beer and wine, and food – which was surprisingly good.
There had been a pre-launch on October 23rd at Google Malaysia’s office, whereby about 12 of us agencies were invited to listen to Matt talk about the program and then given a tour of their new office. As expected, it was a very nice office which is based on Malaysian themes, especially the cave-like conference room. However, and understandably so, it was not as cool as Google Singapore’s 3-storey office, which also serves as the regional office.
The main difference between this new program and the old Google AdWords Certified Partner program is that it now also measures the strength of an agency’s capability in managing campaigns – automatically using Google’s algorithm. This predictably raises the bar for achieving partner status, making it a lot harder to earn the Google Partner badge that you see on the right-side of this blog. At the time of writing, there are only five local Google Partners in the country and yes, SearchGuru is one of them. All agencies must stop using the old Google AdWords Certified Partner badge from November 13th.
From an agency’s perspective, this does make it more worthwhile to become certified since it’s more “premium” now. It’s also more straightforward and convenient, giving us a single access to our exams, certifications, insights, promotional materials, client management tool and more.