A new Google Partners program is launching later this year, which may require current partner companies to make a number of changes.
In order for companies to maintain their Google Partner status, they will have to meet a new set of requirements that go into effect in June 2020.
Google is sending emails to partner companies to help them determine whether they’ll maintain partner status as per the new requirements.
Greg Finn of Cypress North sent us a screenshot which shows Google comparing his company’s current partner status versus what its status will be in June.
As shown in the image above, this particular company would not retain its partner status as per the new requirements.
The reason for this is clearly indicated:
All upcoming changes to Google Partner requirements include:
- Performance is based on whether the account follows all of Google’s optimization score recommendations.
- Minimum Google ad spend in last 90 days increases from $10,000 to $20,000.
- At least 50% of users must have updated Google Ads certifications in Search, Display, Video, and Shopping.
- Specializations are being replaced by product capabilities (more info still to come on this).
Up until now, performance has been based on a company’s growth in overall revenue and number of advertisers, as well as revenue growth and retention of a company’s clients. As of June 2020, performance will simply be based on whether a company follows Google’s optimization score recommendations.
Google Partner companies that meet the new set of requirements in June 2020 get access to a few new features such as a new Partner badge, new status and product capabilities categories, and new program benefits.
Google Partner Feedback (So Far)
Response to these changes from Google Partner companies has been largely negative so far. The main concern is having to follow all of Google’s recommendations in order to remain a partner.
As Kirk Williams (@PPCKirk) states on Twitter:
“I think the primary concern for the rest of us is that the account recommendations are based on a variety of (potentially problematic) actions for individual accounts… which can now no longer be dismissed and will be counted against our partner statuses.”
In a tweet published earlier this month, Williams makes a case for why Google’s recommendations for partners is problematic:
If you think Google is primarily interested in seeing your business be successful in *your* metrics, then why is their agency gamification system focused solely on the 3 metrics that Google wants to increase? 🤔🤔🤔 #ppcchat pic.twitter.com/FJymP1lp3P
— Kirk Williams (@PPCKirk) February 4, 2020
Some even feel so strongly against following Google’s recommendations that they’re willing to lose their Google Partner badge.
Yeah, we saw that too. If that’s the case we’re just gonna ignore those and lose our badge! Most of the automated suggestions are crap.
— Gil Gildner (@gilgildner) February 13, 2020
Others are saying the Google Partner program doesn’t offer the same value to companies that it once did.
This is awful. Also I will always dismiss adding broad horrible keywords to my account. The program has become a joke. No one knows answers and they took away most in-person trainings. Used to go to NYC every other month
— Alyssa Altman (@alyssa_altman) February 13, 2020
Partner Program is dead, has been for a while. Clients don’t care because everyone has it and now they’re just focusing on revenue generation and making Partners join the fun.
Recommendations tab is often terrible and just automated crap that doesn’t consider the client.
— Brett Dixon (@BrettDixon) February 13, 2020
I had just closed the email.
New badge!?! pic.twitter.com/XR5K6slRHB
— Scott Wright (@scright) February 12, 2020
June 2020 is the deadline for adhering to these new requirements. Check your inbox for an email from Google Partners with more information specific to your company.
Matt Southern has been the lead news writer at Search Engine Journal since 2013. With a degree in communications, Matt has an uncanny ability to make the most complex subject matter easy to understand. When he’s not ferociously following and covering the search industry, he’s busy writing SEO-friendly copy that converts.