Archive for the ‘Qualified Individual’ Category

Technical Issues With The Google Certification Program

November 9, 2010

The Google Advertising Program’s transition to the Google Certification Program  has not been made without technical difficulties.

I received the following email from the GCP team today.


As you may know the Google Advertising Professionals Program ended on October
31st, and was replaced with the new Google Certification Program, which introduces a broader curriculum and tougher exams that demonstrate expertise in search, display and reporting & analysis.

Unfortunately we experienced some technical issues on migrating over to the new program. During this migration some of our previously qualified ‘Google Advertising Professionals’ partners may have received an email in error stating they have just become a ‘Certified Google Advertising Professional’.

This was a legacy issue with our system and as the ‘Google Advertising Professionals’ program no longer exists, this is unfortunately not the case.

To become certified under the new program, and take advantage of a more in-depth knowledge of AdWords, partners will need to become certified under the new program criteria as your Google Advertising Professionals status will no longer count as an official certification with Google.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused and look forward to partnering with you in the future.

The Google Certification Team

1600 Amphitheatre Pkwy, Mountain View, CA 94043, USA

Email preferences: You have received this mandatory email service announcement to update you about important changes to your AdWords product or account.

I for one am glad to have received this email.

As I wrote here previously, its unclear to me what term if any the Qualified Individual designation will be replaced with let alone whether it still exists.

Presently in my Google Pro Center, my Google Certification Program designation is referenced in three ways –

1. “Google AdWords Qualified Individual”

2. “Individually Qualified”

3. “AdWords Individual Qualification”

Google AdWords Qualiified Individual

Google AdWords Qualiified Individual

It would be helpful for those of us in the program if the Google Certified Partners team would publish a centrally located overview of the program’s qualifications and terminology.

Ideally the Google Certified Partners team would also create a “Google Certified Partners Community” tab on their home page to establish a dialogue between both AdWords Partners and those Googlers charged with overseeing them.

Google Certification Program Community

Google Certification Program Community



Google AdWords Professionals Program Officially Retired

November 1, 2010

As promised as of October 31, 2010, Google has officially retired the Google Advertising Professionals program.Google Advertising Professionals Program Retired


Google Advertising Professionals Program Retired

While I am not sure what the previous “Qualified Individual” designation will be replaced by, the previous company level certification – the “Qualified Company’ has been replaced with the Google AdWords Certified Partner status.

Google AdWords Certified Partner

Google AdWords Certified Partner

Google Advertising Professionals who had not yet renewed their qualifications under the new Google Certification program’s terms and guidelines may find their old Google Adwords Partner status has taken early retirement.

Google Places Policy Of Allowed Terms

October 27, 2010

After several years of uneven and inconsistent communications from the Google Local Business Center now Google Places – I finally got clarification to the Places dashboard message – “this listing does not comply with our policy of allowed terms.”

Google Places Policy of Allowed Terms

Google Places Policy of Allowed Terms

Although I had suspected for some time using the terms Google Adwords Qualified Individual and Google Adwords Professional in my business listing description field might have been problematic, Google never pointed me or anyone else for that matter to a list of terms they automatically reject.

Yet in today’s message Google revealed at least one word they don’t approve of in Google Places listings…

The word?


I have removed Google from my business description and resubmitted my listing.

It now appears my listing has been automatically approved after resubmitting.

However, the “Your Business Info” section of my Google Places listing still shows my listing is only 90% complete.

Google Places: Your Business Info

Google Places: Your Business Info

I guess my Google Places listing will always be a work in progress.

Available Google Certification Exams

June 10, 2010

As mentioned in previous posts, I am preparing to take the new Google Certification program tests to obtain my Google Individually Qualified (GIQ) status.

In their new program, Google has cleverly transposed the status term that used to be known as “Qualified Individual” into “Individually Qualified” which in turn produced their new G – “IQ” acronym.

After spending some time inside their program since its migration to the new Google Adwords Interface, navigation to different sections within the Pro Center often seems difficult.

I think a lot of this has to do with the fact that the Google Adwords Certification Program Learning Center is on a secure site which requires logging in over and over again to get in and out of pages.

To obtain Adwords certification, individuals must pass at least two exams.

There are four exams planned while three are available to take at this time.

The available exams are the Advertising Fundamentals Exam, the Search Advertising Advanced Exam and the Reporting and Analysis Advanced Exam.

Available Google Exams

Available Google Exams

Google plans to offer the Display Advertising Advanced Exam at some point in the future.

Google Advertising Seminars

May 26, 2007

I decided to apply for the Google Adwords Seminar leader position again.

Their latest application was slightly different from the first one in December of 2005. After looking over my original application, I am surprised my application was even given serious consideration.

Two Google Adwords Seminar Leaders were chosen in early 2006. I believe they have since presented Google Adwords seminars to over 1,000 attendees.

Spending the last year and a half preparing for and writing my book: For Sale By Google – How To Make Money on the Internet Selling Your Products Using Google Adwords and Search Engine Marketing Strategies has given me an entirely different perspective on the paid search business and search in general.

I believe my answers below do in fact reflect that change in perspective.

Section 1:
Background Info
All fields are required.

First Name: Tim
Last Name: Cohn

Email address: timcohn at

Website: Search Marketing Communications

Phone number: 405-842-0163

Current Address:
(Street address) 6403 NW Grand Blvd., Suite 208
(City) Nichols Hills
(State / Province) OK
(Zip Code/Postal Code) 73116

1) How long have you been an AdWords advertiser?

Since March of 2002.

2) Do you have experience with other advertising channels? If so, please explain.

Yes, since 1989 I have been a direct marketing consultant.

I have developed marketing campaigns through nearly every form of advertising media available to the small and medium size business.

I have created and ran advertising campaigns in radio, television, magazines, newspapers, yellow pages and direct mail. No other recognized form of media compares to Google paid search. Word of mouth marketing out performs paid search but the process has yet become measurable and thus manageable.

Since the advent of Adwords, I have focused exclusively on producing results for myself and clients through reaching the search audience through paid search.

I have personally managed the production of 100 million impressions and one million clicks.

3) Do you have teaching or training experience? If so, please explain.

I spoke several years ago about the power of Google Adwords to business audiences in Atlanta, GA and Scottsdale, AZ. I have since accepted a contract to write a book about my Google Adwords experience for John Wiley and Sons. The book, For Sale By Google – How to Make Money Selling Your Products on the Internet Using Google Adwords and Search Engine Marketing Strategies is nearing completion.

As you may gather from the title, the book targets the small to medium size business market with an emphasis on how they can reach their audience more cost efficiently with Google Adwords as compared to their other media options while generating leads and sales in the process.

I believe my direct marketing background which is rooted firmly in advertising accountability and return on investment helps me give proper perspective to the small business owner who needs guidance when it comes to choosing where best to place their advertising dollars.

4) Do you or any of your family members work in the internet search and advertising industry, or for any company that you might reasonably consider to be a direct competitor to Google? If so, please explain.


5) Resume: please paste your resume or a URL linking to your resume into the box below.

As a self-employed marketing consultant, I don’t have a resume per se. However, I do however keep a Curriculum Vitae of the projects and deals I am working on.

Section 2: Short Answers
1) Why do you want to be an AdWords Seminar Leader? (1-2 paragraphs)

A. If I am not constantly teaching others all that I have learned and I continue to learn about Google Adwords, I will be doing both them and my self a disservice.

B. I believe in the power Google Adwords has to transform the small business and the small business owner’s life! I made a commitment to understanding and mastering Adwords to the best of ability long before it became a requisite for being competitive in the market.

2) What is the most challenging situation you have faced when managing AdWords accounts? (1-2 paragraphs)

Being ignorant of any Adwords feature.

3) If you could change one thing about AdWords, what would it be? (1 paragraph)

Add Zip Code Targeting.

4) What is your favorite AdWords tool or report? Why? (1 paragraph)

The Keyword Tool.

Because it rationalizes demand into language.

Section 3: Video Presentation
Please submit one video presentation containing the following 2 components:

a) Introduction (max 1 min.) – Tell us who you are, when you first started using AdWords, and why you want to be an AdWords Seminar Leader.

b) Lesson (max 7 min.) – Choose one of the following two topics and create a lesson as if it were a partial session of an AdWords Seminar. You may use visual aids, but please do not repeat or reuse any materials from the AdWords Learning Center.

* OPTION 1: Your audience is a group of local small business owners with small advertising budgets. They are concerned about competing with large, national advertisers who are also advertising on AdWords. Explain to them how AdWords pricing works, and which AdWords features can help them advertise effectively in this competitive environment.

* OPTION 2: Your audience is a group of new AdWords advertisers. During the Q&A session of the seminar, one advertiser asks: “I’ve been advertising on AdWords for a few weeks. I’ve spent a few hundred bucks, but I’m frustrated because I can’t get my ad to show up on the first page of search results. I’m always in 7th or 8th place on the second page. How do I get my ad to show up on the first page?” How would you address his question?

Google Adwords Seminar Leader

May 23, 2007

I applied for the Google Adwords Seminar Leader position the first time around several days after Google’s deadline. Nothing like being prompt and on time to make a favorable first impression…

My submission was late “because” at that time, I couldn’t post my “audition” video on Google Video via my Mac. After several attempts to upload my video, I gave up.

I had counted on being able to submit my entire application electronically.

By the time I had sent my video overnight to Google headquarters, their deadline had already came and went.

Several weeks after the deadline, I received an email stating that after “careful consideration” two others were chosen over me.

Since I can now submit my video via YouTube, I am considering reapplying.

Adwords Seminar Leader