“Once an individual has received certification, they are managing client accounts with the full support and backing of Google.” Does that sound right to you? That’s the VP of a small ad agency endorsing two of his people who recently passed Google’s search advertising exam. Such statements are frowned upon by Google.
We then read that one AdWords certified person “…provides national, regional and local clients with strategic counsel on selecting search terms that will bring their organization or business to the top of Google’s search results.” I don’t know what that means, but I do know it’s the kind of thing that small and local advertisers hear when they’re not being treated right. If you didn’t catch the problem, it’s the notion that AdWords certified people can get you, Mr. Customer, “to the top of Google’s search results” by “selecting search terms.” It’s an SEO over-promise, based on an unrelated PPC certification, made to the local small businessperson who doesn’t have time to learn the difference - which is why they’re hiring an agency in the first place.
Of course there’s more in the press release regarding “…adhering strictly to SEO best practices…” These quotables were written by someone who either doesn’t write clearly, doesn’t know AdWords, or is purposefully writing dishonestly for the eyes of prospective clients who don’t know AdWords.
Kudos go the second team member for clearly and honestly conveying the prospect benefit of his achievement: “Having the AdWords certification is important to a good number of clients and agencies who want to know their campaigns are being managed by someone who is committed to staying up-to-date and educated about Google’s paid advertising program.” Nailed it.