Achieving Partner status

Anyone can join Google Partners, but only trusted agencies can earn Google’s seal of approval and get listed on Google Partner Search, helping generate valuable new leads. Whether you’re a company of 1 or 1,000, quality is the key to becoming a Google Partner.

The Google Partner badge shows the world that Google trusts your company and that potential clients can too.

Partner requirements

Achieving Partner status is not supposed to be easy. Here are the requirements that your agency needs to meet to become a Google Partner:

  • Certifications: Show that you and your colleagues have advanced AdWords knowledge by getting certified in AdWords.
  • Best practices: Demonstrate that you're maximizing your clients' performance by implementing the recommended best practices in their accounts.
  • Spend: Show that your agency has a healthy amount of activity by meeting the Spend requirements across your managed accounts.
  • Company profile: Set up and complete your agency's Partners profile.

If your agency hasn’t yet met these requirements, don’t worry — the Partners program is designed to help you every step of the way.

Certifications

To fulfill this requirement, your company must be affiliated with at least one person who is certified in AdWords. To get certified, an individual must pass at least two AdWords certification exams, including the Search Fundamentals Exam and one advanced exam. Learn more about getting certified.

Best practices

In your company's managed accounts, you'll need to demonstrate that you've mastered the essentials covered in the Google certification exams and that you're maximizing your clients' campaign performance.

We review your client accounts to make sure your clients are getting excellent service, including the type and frequency of the changes you're making, client retention, and whether you're making the most of your clients' budgets. We review your client accounts from the time they were linked to the MCC, even if they were linked before the Partners program started.

Click each section below to see examples of best practices that you can implement in your client accounts to show that you've mastered the essentials. Note that we'll only look at best practices for the features that you currently use for your clients. For example, if your client doesn't advertise on the Display Network, we won't review the account for Display Network features.

Search Network best practices

Add negative keywords: Negative keywords can help your clients reach their most interested customers, reduce their costs, and increase their return on investment (ROI). When terms are added as negative keywords, ads won't show to people searching for those terms or visiting sites that contain those terms. More about negative keywords

Add sitelinks: The sitelinks ad extension lets your clients show links to specific pages on their website beneath the text of their ads (and in addition to the main landing page), helping customers find what they're looking for with just one click. Sitelinks appear in ads at the top and bottom of Google search results. More about sitelinks

Use ad extensions: With ad extensions, your clients can include additional business information with their ad, such as an address and phone number, more website page links, or a third-party review. Ad extensions offer customers even more reasons to click an ad. More about ad extensions

Add phrase match keywords: With phrase match keywords, ads can show when someone searches for an exact keyword, or close variations of it, with additional words before or after the keyword. Using phrase match can help your clients reach more customers, while still providing more precise targeting. More about phrase match

Add exact match keywords: With exact match, ads can appear when someone searches for an exact keyword, or close variations of it, without any other terms in the search. Using exact match means that keywords are targeted more precisely than broad match or phrase match. More about exact match

Add multiple text ads: Create three to four ads per ad group, trying out different messages to see which performs the best with your clients' customers. AdWords can automatically show the better-performing ads within an ad group more often, removing the guesswork of which messages people find most compelling. More about writing successful text ads

Improve Quality Score: Quality Score is an estimate of how relevant ads, keywords, and landing pages are to people seeing your clients' ads. Having a high Quality Score means that our systems think the ads, keywords, and landing pages are all relevant and useful to someone looking at them. More about Quality Score

Add broad match modified keywords: By adding a modifier – a plus sign (+) – to any of the terms that are part of broad match keyword phrase, your clients' ads can only show when someone's search contains those modified terms, or close variations of the modified terms, in any order. Modified broad match keywords won't show ads for synonyms or related searches, providing an additional level of control. More about broad match modified keywords

Use ad scheduling: Custom ad scheduling allows your clients to specify certain hours and/or days of the week when they want their ads to show. With custom ad scheduling, ads are eligible to appear only in auctions that take place during the dates and times chosen. More about custom ad scheduling

Add more keywords to each ad group: Most advertisers find it useful to have somewhere between five and 20 keywords per ad group, although each ad group can have more than 20 keywords. Remember, each ad group should contain keywords that directly relate to that group's theme. More about how to build the best keyword list

Display Network best practices

Add demographic targeting: If your clients cater to a specific set of customers within a particular age range or gender, they may want to target their ads to this audience because they’re more likely to be interested in the products or services they offer. Demographic targeting in AdWords can help reach customers who are likely to be within the demographic groups that are chosen. More about demographic targeting

Add placement exclusions: While one of the benefits of the Display Network is the variety of channels and options, certain placements might not be relevant for your clients' ads. By excluding placements, ads don't get shown on individual websites – like error pages or sites about crime. More about placement exclusions

Add placements: Placements are locations on the Google Display Network where ads can appear. By adding managed placements, your clients can choose to target a website or a specific page on a site, a mobile app, video content, or even an individual ad unit. More about managed placements

Add topic targeting: Topic targeting allows ads to be eligible to appear on any pages on the Display Network that have content related to selected topics that your clients' customers may be interested in. With topic targeting, ads can show on website pages about those topics, whether it's agriculture, music, or something else entirely. More about topic targeting

Add more keywords to Display Network campaigns: Choose keywords that your clients' customers would use to describe their products or services, and make sure that these keywords are related to each other. More about keywords on the Display Network

Create separate Search and Display Network campaigns: Create separate campaigns targeting the Search and Display Networks to manage your clients' campaigns more effectively. For example, your clients can have different advertising messages for ads appearing on Display Network sites, different bids and budgets, and targeting options. More about campaign types

Set up remarketing: Remarketing lets your clients reach people who have previously visited their site, and show them relevant ads across the web or when they search on Google. When people leave a site without buying anything, for example, remarketing helps your clients connect with these potential customers again. More about remarketing

YouTube advertising best practices

Increase video campaigns budget usage: If your clients aren't using all of their budget, we recommend optimizing their AdWords for video campaigns so their ads show more often. Get tips for optimizing video campaigns

Increase video view rates: Optimize your clients' AdWords for video campaigns to increase the video view rate. On average, clients should achieve view rates between 13% and 21%. Get tips for optimizing video campaigns

Add more keywords to video campaigns: Add more keywords to your clients' AdWords for video campaigns to reach viewers searching YouTube for video content. These work just like search keywords for a non-video ad campaign, but apply only to search on YouTube. More about AdWords for video keywords

Target TrueView campaigns to all networks: Show TrueView ads on TrueView in-search, TrueView in-display, and TrueView in-stream on relevant placements on YouTube Search results, YouTube Video pages, within the YouTube player, as well as on websites across the web. Showing ads across all networks allows your clients to increase their reach on the same target audience. And because all formats are TrueView, your clients only pay for the most engaged users. More about targeting ads

Use all TrueView video formats: Use all TrueView video formats — TrueView in-search, TrueView in-display, and TrueView in-stream — to show ads an all relevant placements on YouTube and the Google Display Networks. This allows your clients to increase their reach on the same target audience. And because all formats are TrueView, your clients only pay for the most engaged users. More about TrueView video formats

Add interest categories to video campaigns: On YouTube and the Display Network, your clients can use interest category targeting to reach people interested in products and services similar to those your clients offer. Select from a wide-ranging list of categories -- from autos to fashion -- and we'll show ads to people who are likely to be enthusiasts. More about targeting ads

Create call-to-action video overlays: Use call-to-action overlays to share more information about the content of your clients' videos or to raise interest in their channel, other videos, or additional websites. The overlay will only appear within the video when it's seen on YouTube. More about call-to-action overlays

Add demographic targeting to video campaigns: If your clients cater to a specific set of customers within a particular age range or gender, they may want to target their ads to this audience because they’re more likely to be interested in the products or services they offer. Demographic targeting can help reach customers who are likely to be within the demographic groups that are chosen. More about demographic targeting

Add video remarketing: Show tailored ads to millions of viewers across YouTube and video partner sites, based on their past interactions with your clients' videos or YouTube channel. By reinforcing a message with people who have already seen a video or channel, your clients are more likely to succeed in increasing their return on investment. More about remarketing lists for YouTube

Customer care best practices

Increase customer retention: We review your client accounts to make sure your clients are getting excellent service, including the type and frequency of the changes you're making, client retention, and whether you're making the most of your clients' budgets.

Optimize accounts regularly: Maximize the performance of your client accounts by optimizing their budgets, bids, and keywords often. Understand the relationship between cost and quality — a higher Quality Score can lead to lower cost-per-click amounts and better ad position — and then track your clients' return on investment (ROI) and optimize their budgets and bids accordingly. You'll want to improve the relevance of your clients' keywords to help boost their Quality Scores, modify the match type for ones that aren't meeting your clients' advertising goals, and remove low-performing ones. Get more tips for optimizing your client accounts

Experiment with new ads, ad groups, and targeting options regularly: Optimize your client accounts by creating multiple ads per ad group, each with a different message to see which performs best. Is one of your clients offering new a products or running a special promotion? Try creating new ad groups, each with a theme — such as that new product or promotion — that contains ads and keywords related to the theme. Experiment with different targeting options, such as location targeting or demographic targeting, to focus your clients' advertising where they'll find the right customers. More about optimizing your client accounts

Tip

In the email notifications section of your individual profile, select "Performance suggestions" to get emails to get customized campaign management ideas to help you improve the performance of your campaigns.

Spend

Having an active and healthy book of business lets us know that your agency will stand the test of time. We’ll check your MCC for several indicators of business health, including the following:

  • At least US $10,000 in total AdWords spend over the last 90 calendar days
  • Spend activity in at least 60 of the last 90 days
  • MCC is at least 90 days old

Keep in mind that your spend in AdWords might be different from the spend listed in your Partners account. That's because AdWords spend is measured from the day an AdWords account is added to your company’s MCC. Therefore, in Partners, you won’t see any spend that occurred before your accounts were linked. For example, if you linked a client's AdWords account to your MCC on November 1st, only account activity after November 1st will count toward to your company's Spend requirement. If you sign in to your MCC in AdWords, you'll see the spend for the last 90 days.

Tips

  • When setting up or editing your company profile, be sure to provide your company’s top-level MCC (the MCC linked to all your company’s managed accounts). This will ensure that your entire book of business counts toward the Spend requirement.
  • When comparing spend, it’s important to make sure that you’re looking at the MCC that's linked to your company’s profile (found on the "My company" page in your Partners account).

Company profile

You can add your agency to Partners by creating and completing a company profile. Company profiles include basic information like company name, logo, website, contact info, Google+ Page, and company description. Completing your company's profile is the first step to achieving Partner status and getting your company listed on Google Partner Search.

To join Partners, your company must have a website and a My Client Center (MCC) account. Learn more about setting up your company profile.

How to help your company achieve Partner status

Achieving Partner status is a collective effort, and a single individual can have a huge impact. To help your company become a Partner and earn the badge, be sure to do the following:

  • Make sure your Partners sign in email has edit access to the MCC containing the accounts which you personally manage.
  • Affiliate with your company. You can do this when you sign up or later on your "My profile" page.
  • Get certified in AdWords. This will fulfill your company’s ‘Certifications’ requirement and get it one step closer to Partner status.

How to download your company's Partner badge

Once your company qualifies for Partner status, admins can download the Partner badge by going to the "Status" page in their Partners account. On that page, click the download link and you'll be able to download a .zip file that contains multiple badge sizes and formats. Note that it may take 24 to 48 hours for your badge to become available.

What happens if your company stops meeting one of the Partner status requirements

Your company can keep the badge as long as it continues to meet the requirements for Partner status. If your company is at risk of losing its badge, we'll give you time to correct the issues.

If your company doesn’t re-qualify for Partner status by meeting the requirements above, your company will lose the benefits of Partner status, including the following:

  • Rights to use the Google Partner badge
  • Your public listing on Google Partner Search
  • New leads generated from Google Partner Search

Loss of Partner status doesn’t mean you’re out of the program. If your company loses its Partner status, it can continue to participate in the program and enjoy all the the benefits of being a member of Google Partners.

Next steps

  • Learn about completing your individual Partners profile
  • Find out how to add your company to Partners
  • Learn more about the certification exams