Google just cannot prepare someone for their AdWords certification exams. You can waste a lot of time because they over-recommend that you over-learn the wrong minutia. A blog post last week entitled “How to Survive the Google AdWords Advanced Search Exam” describes the Google Learning Center experience:
“At first the material looked digestible, until I started clicking through the links, only to see them leading to more and more pages of material that needed to be reviewed. For example, the ‘Performance Monitoring and Reporting’ link takes you to three more sections that are broken down into 20 more links of material…YIKES!…If you’re like me, reading through pages upon pages of online content will sink you into a very deep sleep (no offense, Google!). When I looked into printing the study guides, I saw that the amount of paper it would take would kill a small forest.”
To prove the author right, an official video was posted on the Google Partners channel (also last week) entitled “AdWords Certification Advanced Search Exam Prep” which had little to do with the subject. The lion’s share of the presentation is about the wrong test and the portion that’s related to the right test recommends further study of information that’s not on the test.
The narrated slide show spent the first 49:25 reviewing materials for the fundamentals exam and then spent the remaining 6:41 covering just one search exam topic: The AdWords API. The kicker? It concludes by referring future test takers to three API resources which are really for developers: The AdWords API Developer Guide, AdWords API Help Center, and Google Ads Developer Blog (formerly just “Google API Blog”). None of those are relevant to the people in the kinds of roles typical of people taking AdWords certification exams like account managers, account executives, media buyers, search engine specialists, online marketing managers and the like. Why is Google so bad at this?
The story is told in four screenshots. First, a “fundamentals review” is a logical start to a presentation about the search advanced exam, sure:
But 80% in, are we still covering the fundamentals exam? Look at what’s on screen (below), then double check the title at the bottom of that video and look at the timer to see how long it’s taken to arrive at this point:
Five minutes later, we’re out of time. But are these additional resources for people in the kinds of jobs that would be getting AdWords certifications and watching this video? Nope.
I know there’s this whole argument that everyone under the roof should know everything. But developers don’t typically get sales training, account executives don’t have to be data scientists, and account managers studying for the AdWords search advanced exam could put their time to better use than memorizing the AdWords API Help Center.