The Google Partner program exists to help AdWords advertisers find competent advertising agencies and online marketing professionals. For such organizations, the extra assistance and certification offered by the program can help them secure more business.
Unfortunately, some agencies and individuals have been abusing the program and suggesting to clients that Google Partner status confers the ability to secure influence with Google above and beyond the program’s remit. According to The SEM Post, businesses have been wrongly using their membership to:
- Promote Organic SEO services
- Offer paid placement for organic search results
- Offer top placement guarantees
- Offer AdWords performance guarantees
- Suggest that Google My Business is a paid service
All of these promises go beyond what the program allows.
Principles to Participate in the Partnership
Google has decided that it is essential that they address the issue of reoccurring violations and are tightening up their review of Google Partners. Hence if you are part of the programme, and are using it in your marketing material or in contacts with potential customers, it would be a sensible precaution to make sure you fully comply with the rules.
The consequences of non-compliance can actually be very severe for your business. These penalties can go as far as being banned from AdWords completely for business that are serial offenders. More likely, you might find your participation in the program revoked and your company removed from the partner directory and its source of business leads.
Google Partnership Do’s and Don’ts
So what should you do? At the very least, check the following items to see if you are in compliance:
First, here’s what not to do:
- Offer no performance guarantees
- Only use your membership of the program in conjunction with AdWords and *not* SEO
- Offer no guarantees of appearing in AdWords results
- Do not suggest that you can guarantee positions
- Do not suggest that you have a relationship with Google that can influence performance
- Do not suggest that you have special rates due to the program
Now a look at what to do when you use the Google Partner program:
- You have become specialized in managing AdWords campaigns
- You are certified by Google to manage AdWords campaigns
- You are certified to manage one or more specialized AdWords areas: Search Advertising, Mobile Advertising, Shopping Advertising, Video Advertising and/or Display Advertising
- You deliver significant enough performance to remain part of the program.
Perspectives on Being a Partner
Remember that Google may contact clients to ascertain their *perception* of your promises to them. So not only must your marketing and sales materials abide by Google’s rules, engagements by sales, account managers and campaign managers must also be compliant.
Fundamentally, the fact that Google insists on high standards for the Partner program is a good thing. It ensures that the credibility of the program remains high and that compliant organizations remain able to benefit in the marketplace from that credibility.
Image 1: Gif via GIPHY
Image 2: Screenshot from Google Support