What it Means to be Google AdWords Certified

google_adwords_qualified_professionalBeing Google AdWords Certified allows you to prove to potential clients and customers that you are a recognized expert in Google AdWords. In order to ensure that individuals who are AdWords certified keep up to date with the industry, the certification exam must be re-taken every year.

Our paid search team, as well as myself the business owner, are Google AdWords certified and continue to take the exam year after year. Here’s a basic summary of what the certification process is like.

Becoming Google AdWords Certified

Becoming Google AdWords certified requires not one, but a series of exams. Don’t worry, the company doesn’t leave you completely in the dark on these exams, Google does provide some review material to study before taking them.

The first is an exam on Google AdWords fundamentals. This includes the information you must know if you’ll be managing AdWords accounts. It also has a section on the latest developments in AdWords, so those who are retaking the exam aren’t being tested on the exact same information over and over again.

The second and final exam is an exam of your choosing. Google offers AdWords exams that are specific to various industries, you can choose from: search, display, mobile, video, and shopping. Of course, we would take the search exam because that’s the majority of what we use AdWords for. If you’re managing a campaign for an e-commerce store you would probably want to take the shopping exam. In any case, the second exam is completely the tester’s choice.

After Becoming Certified

After you pass both exams, you’ll become Google AdWords certified — and then what? For starters, it lets you legally use the Google Partners badge and the AdWords Certified badges. In addition, you can list the certification in your LinkedIn profile, or any professional piece of correspondence that you are an AdWords certified individual to build credibility for your agency and potential clients.


Being certified allows you to have a business listing on the Google Partners site, which is a database of agencies that are certified by Google. The database also provides a partner rating based on the performance of the accounts you’re managing. A percentage rating is assigned based on how efficient you are at managing AdWords. There are benchmarks for minimum acceptable percentage, benchmarks for average, and benchmarks for those who are above and beyond average. If you have a high percentage rating, you have a chance to stand out amongst competitors and potentially generate leads.

From a client standpoint, they have the benefit of knowing who is most proficient at Google AdWords using the Partners database. From a consumer standpoint, if they want a Google partner agency, they can compare and contrast their options using these tools.

Benefits of Becoming Certified

We just went over some of the tangible benefits of becoming certified. You get to use badges and have a business listing on a Google website — but it’s much more than that. Being Google AdWords certified is a reputation and credibility factor. Potential clients looking for an agency to manage their AdWords account can feel more confident knowing they’re hiring an AdWords certified agency or individual.


In a perfect world, Google would have only have Google AdWords certified individuals and agencies managing accounts. Being certified is a mark of approval from Google that you can manage AdWords on anyone’s behalf. However, there’s nothing stopping a non-certified individual from managing an AdWords account, so it’s important to know what you’re getting into before you hire anyone to manage your campaigns.

If you’re concerned about the overall status of your AdWords account after having it managed by a non-certified individual or agency — please contact us for a complimentary audit. We’ll be happy to review your account and provide a report free of charge. Contact us today to get started.

Pam Aungst Cronin
Try SEMRush