As you’ve probably noticed, there’s a link on the left of the main site pages that says “AdWords Qualified Individual”. Yes, I’ve been certified by Google as AdWords Qualified. So what does it mean?
Well, in order to get that fancy logo, it’s more than just a cut and paste of the image. In actuality, if I did that and Google found out about it, I’d be in very big trouble. Legal ramifications, I’m guessing. But I had to earn it before I could put that logo up. How do you go about earning your own fancy logo, to put where you would like?
The first step is to set up an AdWords “My Client Center”. This is basically a super-user level in AdWords; it allows you to have multiple AdWords accounts underneath, run by separate entities. What this means for me is that I can have my clients’ accounts set up either by them or myself, and then I can manage each one, while they are still in complete control of their account. As an AdWords Client Manager, you have full access over the client’s account, to optimize to your (and their) heart’s content. Don’t break any of Google’s rules, and you’ve completed step one.
Once this is set up, you then need to have at least one client (can be yourself) in your account and manage it for a minimum of 90 days. During these 90 days you have to build and maintain at least $1000 total ad expense for your whole My Client Center account.
Now all of this establishes that you actually have some experience with AdWords, but it’s a little more than that. The final step is to pass the Google Advertising Professional Exam. And this isn’t exactly super easy – it takes about an hour and a half, and has over 100 questions in it. To pass, you have to get at least 75%. Plus it’s $50 for each try. I’ll tell you now – if you don’t have a lot of experience with AdWords, it’s worth your time to study a bit before trying to pass this exam.
After all that’s been done and taken care of, you’re Qualified! Then, as long as you maintain the requirements, you can stay that way. The nice thing is that at this point, you can use their logo on your site (as long as you say specifically how many people are qualified), and you can use it to some degree on marketing products, including business cards. That, and Google will set up a nice page for you, so you can show off your achievement.
I realize not everyone loves playing with AdWords as much as I do, but if it’s something you really like – I’d recommend aiming to get Qualified. It’s a very good achievement to have, especially if you want to do pay per click advertising as a service.