The Google Partners program allows marketing agencies to display a special badge on their website, subject to certain strict conditions. For me, this “partnership” program with Google has long been like a form of comedy. I will explain it in detail later. But the worst is probably still to come when we discover the changes that have just been announced and which will take effect next June …

With the new conditions, Google tends to orient the program more and more to its advantage. And therefore not necessarily in the interests of the end customer.

google loves me workshop banner

Blow of mouth.

What is the Google Partner program?

Whether you are a client, freelance or agency, you must have heard of the program Google Partners.

It allows an agency to obtain a badge which must attest to its ability to work on the Google Ads platform (formerly Google Adwords).

The purpose of this badge is to reassure the end customer who is looking for a qualified service provider, agency type or independent (freelance Adwords).

According to Google: “This proves that your company has skills and in-depth expertise on Google Ads

It is obtained by the agency or the independent based on several criteria related in particular to:

This program entitles you to benefits:

Can a customer really be reassured by a Google partners badge?

In my opinion, the Google Partners badge does not guarantee the quality of work of an agency.

Besides, at no time does Google ask customers to know their level of satisfaction with their agency or independent service provider.

Instead of an end customer who knows nothing about all this, would that really reassure me:

  • The principle of an agency “certified by Google”;
  • Continuing education from which these “partners” benefit.

The Google Ads certification system

Almost anyone can get Google Ads certifications. It is enough to learn (by heart) the documentation made available by Google before passing its exams.

Online tests in the form of a multiple-choice questionnaire, such as those found on the road test for obtaining a driving license.

At no time do these certifications demonstrate in-depth expertise on the Google Ads platform.

In any case not in the direction of the primary interests of the client, that is to say knowing how to best manage an advertising budget to derive maximum profitability.

With all the finesse and subtleties of a complex marketing platform.

I talk to a lot of agencies.

You would be surprised by the number of them that use freelancers in India or Madagascar to pass, in their place, the certifications of all the “Adwords specialists” of their company.

And if you do a search on Google with the questions submitted during the exam, it is very likely that you will find the answer in a few seconds on “cheat sites” (which monetize their content with Google Adsense ads, the beautiful irony).

Does Google turn a blind eye to these practices?

Training for partners

In my opinion, the majority of the training disclosed to the participants of this program are only sales pitches (pitches) intended for end customers:

  • In favor of smart bidding (Google’s automated auctions);
  • Why it is essential to activate all possible automations;
  • How to make customers spend more;
  • How to get them to spend on channels where they are not yet spending.

Again, I don’t see anything very reassuring for the end customer.

But maybe it’s too personal an opinion?

To find out, I contacted several colleagues and Google Adwords experts to obtain their opinion on the question:

In your opinion, is the status of Google Partner a guarantee of quality for end customers? Why ?

Blaise Reymondin, Co-founder of Blaise & Bruno:

Not really. And it is not certain that the perception of the badge is still positive today. The end customer wonders what are the real links that unite a “partner” agency with a company like Google…

The agency’s position is quite ambiguous on this subject, because even if it does not receive any financial commission from Google, it is encouraged in various ways to increase advertising expenses (via the recommendations of the platform, the contest inter-agency, coaching, Premier badge, etc.).

As a result, it is difficult for the end customer to know what the priorities of the partner agency he has mandated are: “Does it work primarily for my interests or theirs, with Google?”.

And finally, there is the problem of image that Google conveys today; a lot of customers tell us about their reluctance towards the company itself, especially because of the way they hear about it in the media.

I think that the Partners program would gain in credibility if the main performance criterion was more explicitly that of the end customer (for example the CPA or the ROAS), and not the so-called “quality criteria” decreed by Google, which remain little tangible for the end customer (and sometimes also for the agency, especially for those who bill their fees mainly for performance, as is my case with Bruno).

Cedric Duma, independent Google Ads specialist:

There are two things to distinguish when talking about quality assurance for end customers. The quality perceived and the quality real. Indeed, this status is in the eyes of advertisers who do not know our business a real value of trust.

If the independent consultant with whom I am going to work obtains this recognition from Google, it is necessarily that he will accompany me in achieving my goal.

But if it was so simple, it would be too good! Because indeed, the perceived quality is not by far the real quality! This status absolutely does not represent a guarantee of quality as it is easy (today) to obtain it.

A minimum of $ 10,000 of expenses, a certification, a certain performance on the accounts is enough and presto! We get the Google Partner badge.

Except that where the bottom hurts is that:

In my opinion, this badge that is advertised in the eyes of advertisers does the business of Google and risks deceiving many end customers who think they trust real experts who may not be.

Personally, I have received information that I may lose my Google Partner status in June due to my certifications. Because half of the people with access to accounts will have to be certified… a joke.

I seriously ask myself the question “Am I going to take / waste time re-passing my certifications?” “ In the end the only real certification that is worth in the eyes of my customers is what I bring them and it is my best asset to sell myself to new customers!

Cyrille Baudemont, director of Boost your Web:

The first time I passed the Google Ads / AdWords certification, it was still paid (in memory, around 70 €)

Yes, it was a few years ago (and no, I’m not that old), but the simple fact of paying this amount makes a big difference in my opinion, compared to today when the certification is free.

“At the time”, we were preparing like a candidate for the BAC and beyond all the literature of the Google Ads support, (which, by the way, is rather well done), it was better to have already put “the hands in the engine ”, because we knew very little about the examination that awaited us.

Another important point is that if you fail, you have to wait 15 days before you can retake the exam.

In short, in my opinion, it was more restrictive than today and the review was a little more valuable. Now, the certification process is free and you can start over and over again until you get it.

If we consider the Google Partner badge as a label, when we know the backdrop, we say that it has little value (this is true for many labels regardless of areas…). However, on the client / prospect side, the badge remains an important element of reinsurance.

During our recruitments, the fact that the candidates have the Google Ads certification (+ possibly Google Analytics) is a little more in their favor, but it is not worth “the real experience”.

One can very well have the certification without having ever managed Google Ads campaigns: this only offers theory in broad outline, but is not a guarantee of know-how. Nothing can replace experience, especially that with Google Ads, what works for one customer won’t necessarily work for another.

Antoine von Burg of Brands up

If the Google Partners badge can possibly influence the perception of your prospects on the seriousness of your agency, this is in no way a guarantee of quality for the end customer.

Provided you have passed the official certifications and spend a certain amount per month on the platform, you are Google Partners. How does this guarantee your work? How do you manage your accounts? ROI that you generate for your customers? Nothing, in our opinion.

To get an idea of ​​the performance of an agency, it would be more reasonable to know the results obtained with existing customers, or even to consult the various opinions that can be found online (subject to authenticity).

Bastien Rabaute of Jabiroo

Not necessarily. Partner and Premier Partner eligibility criteria focus more on increasing spending than on satisfying customers and achieving their goals. The certifications alone cannot validate real expertise in the management of daily advertising campaigns.

The development of the Partner program in 2020 is not a step in the right direction and is calling into question this partner status, particularly with regard to the obligation to validate a minimum rate of recommendations. One wonders if forcing a hand is in the best interest of the end customer. The latter is capable of judging his provider on his results and not on the application of the directives of a company which is here judge and party.

There is surely a balance to be found in the eligibility criteria that will satisfy customers, agencies and Google.

Isabelle Gay-Crosier, communications and marketing specialist

Difficult to answer this question if it is a guarantee of quality or not to have the badge since it is not enough to have the badge to do a good job, but the reverse is also true.

On the other hand, as a solopreneure, and as I am a small agency on the circuit, for me, it is a plus to have, for several years, the Google Partner badge.

Indeed, for my clients or prospects, this shows them that I am officially in the race and I think that it is important for them at the beginning of our relationship. Then, it is true that when we start to work together, that they see the results and that they understand my implication and my work, the badge is no longer necessary. The important thing is the application of my work, the results obtained and the satisfaction of my clients.

However, it is true that the criteria for becoming a Google Partner agency are not necessarily qualitative criteria, but rather quantitative: being certified, having good practices and managing a defined budget…

And there, we are not talking about the future criteria to keep your badge after June 2020 which will certainly not be qualitative unfortunately.

Loric Sacarrère, Google Ads consultant (E-commerce specialist).

Theoretically, Google Partner status should be a guarantee of quality allowing end customers to sort out those who know how to manage and optimize Google Ads campaigns effectively and those who say they can do it.

But, this is on paper …

… Because the reality is quite different.

As Bruno points out in his article, it is unfortunately possible to “get around” the rules.

Especially during the accreditation process.

I have in particular a friend who carries out training for agencies wishing
pass on certification to their employees. At the end of the 2 days of
training, my friend passes the accreditation to the different participants,
and for as many participants as possible to pass the test … it helps them
answer the questions !

This is proof that accreditation is not THE quick fix for
determine the skills of agencies or consultants.

Knowing how to respond to multiple choice questions from Google (which is relatively easy when you know the “logic” of thinking by Google) is a good start… but what
is not the most important!

Maurice Largeron, Audit, advice and training in marketing & digital communications

This is my vision of freelance independent google Partner that I give here, therefore not representative of the many google ads providers!

A few words about the google Partner context first.

This program has always been a more suffered than participative program with the google brand. If we had to make a micro sidewalk among advertisers, or business school students, we can say that the Google Partner program is like Maurice Largeron, nobody knows or almost! This therefore does not give a competitive advantage over those who do not use it.

The fact that Google has outsourced the management of its certification program in recent times (skillshop), is also characteristic for its interest in enriching the Google-Agencies relationship.

Internally, the development of online support, the development of dedicated call centers, with “chat” in particular, directly connects brands with Google.

In this small and medium-sized business market, with small and medium-sized agencies where some freelancers gravitate, Google has no interest in adding value. The new version of the Google Partner program is the symbol. Focusing Google support on large agencies has become a priority.

Self-learning algorithms are now taking control of this SMB market. I am increasingly confronted with audits of accounts managed in “Smart Campaigns”. Very often these are simplified accounts pushed by Google via Google my business for example, in the form of “smart campaigns”. They’re not profitable, you often have to redo everything, or stop everything because the advertisers’ experience has been very bad.

Suddenly in this context, the qualitative contribution of the google Partner badge is weakened. In the past, yes, it allowed you to get involved and get your foot in the door in the google ecosystem. For the campaign manager, the certifications paid for and were less easy to obtain. Today, this is no longer the case on the skillshop platform. Only the 100% increase in management will allow cleaning up with small managers, without guaranteeing the competence of the Traffic manager.

I’m not fooled, without making a bad spirit, Google does not need me because I am eroding its commercial margin. Google is a brand now “ubiquitous” which over time has connected with advertisers, via mobile and reinforced first level support.

What are the benefits of Google Partners status worth for agencies and freelancers?

I was able to take advantage of certain benefits of Partner status.

Product training

As said before, I find that these are more selling points than real training.

Out of all the training I received, I would say that between 15 and 20% was useful (to learn how to implement new features or to be informed about the beta of Google Ads).

Telephone support

Like our American friends, I found that the quality of Google Ads support was less and less satisfactory.

The first level contacts do not demonstrate a very advanced level, they limit themselves to a role of referrers and it is often necessary to wait several days to obtain a relevant response from a real internal expert.

In the past, we got an immediate response directly from the right people.

Events jointly organized with Google

I had the opportunity to organize two on the format: conference + question and answer + networking aperitif.

It was a good experience during the event.

Because the planning aspects were extremely restrictive:

  • Validate the list of its guests to Google;
  • Evaluate the potential advertising expenditure of each guest;
  • Justify any expense for the event;
  • Advance the costs of the event, with some difficulties in getting reimbursed.

and ditto for the post event:

  • The duty to report on all “prospects” we have spoken to;
  • Keep Google up-to-date on the status of signed (or unsigned) opportunities for the following months.

It served me as a lesson. I now organize my events on my own, like a grown-up.

We agree that if Google funds an event, it’s normal to have this approach on the merits. But on the form, I find that it is limited.

We are talking about an event that costs 1,000 CHF to a company that earns tens of billions of profits per quarter …

Prospecting with Google

Google collaborators sometimes accompanied me to customer meetings.

But after 2-3 attempts, I promised myself that I would never do it again.

In the end, it was all about advertising spending.

This subject took up 90% of the conversation with my client.

And most of the time, the budgets recommended to our prospects were completely unrealistic to the point of being ashamed of them and calling the prospect back after the meeting in order to try to excuse this attitude … (this is real experience).

Competitions for agencies

I have never participated in any of the competitions organized by Google for partner agencies.

I’ve read the rules many times though.

To give you an idea, agencies are judged on the growth of their customers’ Google advertising spending and the number of new customer accounts created over a given period.

In exchange, they are rewarded with Google advertising objects (mugs, t-shirts, pens, balloons, etc.).

And an Android smartphone or a table football for the most deserving, those who by their work will contribute to bring back several million dollars in advertising expenses.

I find it grotesque and infantilizing.

We’re doing business, we’re not in a raffle …

Again, my opinion being rather “incisive”, I wanted to mitigate with the opinion of other colleagues and experts:

What do you think of the benefits of the Google Partner program?

Blaise Reymondin, Co-founder of Blaise & Bruno:

The main advantage is access to beta versions of the program. The benefits of participating in Partner events and training are meager, since almost all of the information is (quickly) available online.

The advice given there also seems to me too oriented to “sell” Google Ads services (for example the integration of news), and not with the primary aim of really improving the profitability of campaigns for our customers.

Google claims to help us “sign new customers”, for example by providing industry data and presentations to prospects.

Personally, I have never found this information very relevant, it remains basic without providing a specific and in-depth analysis of an activity sector and without really demonstrating the business growth opportunities that we could obtain from a few strategic avenues.

As for the incentives provided for the most “deserving” agencies, in the form of a quiz with prizes like table football, it sounds like a big joke.

Cedric Duma, independent Google Ads specialist:

Again the benefits are really not worth the efforts that agencies and freelancers must provide!

Product training for example. When I was working in an agency, we were Partner Premier certified, but Google never provided us with product training. At best we were invited to travel at our expense to Paris to participate in a Workshop…. which was more intended for analyst analysts ..

Phone support is also a joke and I realize that more and more. When you have an account manager for a client who spends several tens of thousands of euros per month, and suddenly he changes his account portfolio (because yes every 3 months we break the relationship that you have with your account manager!) and you find yourself with nothing… no matter how much you relaunch Google, it’s over with personalized assistance.

So either, it is not directly related to Partner status, but it reflects the way of doing Google. You’re just cash cows! Having phone support is really not an advantage as the people you contact are sort of a level 1 “marshalling yard”.

I have very rarely had very qualified people. Limit I was teaching them how to do it. Especially the scary thing is that these people don’t take on the personalized dimension of your client. They take you ready-made sentences, generic solutions.

Again if you are not discerning, it is a risk that you put your customers at risk. My habit when I have an account manager for one of my clients is to whip him up, to tell him what my goals are and what I want from him. I don’t let him lead the boat. It’s me who decides.

I have never been able to truly benefit from other advantages of this status and I do not feel worse. So ok a little networking is cool indeed, but it stops there.

In my first agency we never participated in any competition. We didn’t have time for that, and above all, participating in a contest is like doing Google wants you to do and for not much in the end!

I don’t want to be the puppet of Google more than I already am by blindly following all their recommendations. I take what there is to take and the rest too bad! If I am no longer a Partner in June this will not prevent me from doing a good job!

Cyrille Baudemont, director of Boost your Web:

Regarding the “help and advice” that Google provides online, a few years ago, I wrote an article on the subject. Unfortunately, nothing has really changed today!

Very recently I have met customers who have “benefited” from free Google help. The figures are final, spending at several 0s (in just 1 month), for a turnover generated far below the expenses. But it seems that we must give the famous (and dark) Artificial Intelligence time to learn … meanwhile the counter is running!

The expression ” When it’s free, you’re the product ! »Takes on its full meaning here. If a mechanic tells you that he is going to repair your car 100% free: you would probably say that there is something hidden, right?

Only, in our case, the mechanic wears a Google t-shirt: Everyone loves Google! But our friend is still one of the most powerful companies in the world who has to make money.

For having participated in exchanges, Google advisers generally follow their roadmap and apply the same advice from one account to another, without taking into consideration the markets, objectives, questions of profitability, various customer issues … But as the order comes “FROM ALL ABOVE”, customers often naively apply the advice.

Useless however to spend crazy sums on Google, limited budgets allow to test the lever. We can then gradually increase spending, based on the notion of profitability (ROI)> When we understand this: we understand everything 😉!

The savings made by launching your Google Ads campaigns without knowing the subject, are very often largely wasted because of unprofitable campaigns, sometimes even absolutely catastrophic.

If you want to start alone, I can only advise you too much to carry out a training of one day (or more) on the subject. This will allow you to start on a good foundation and to understand the ins and outs.

Antoine von Burg of Brands up

Let’s face it: the benefits of the program are rather meager. The monitoring of our accounts by a Google specialist has proven to be of little relevance to our customers: it systematically shows that we must spend more, but not more intelligently.

In addition, the application of certain automations (pushed by Google) has sometimes proved to be dangerous for certain campaigns. Today we have done without their assistance and their recommendations.

Bastien Rabaute of Jabiroo

Certain services offered are interesting for customers: campaign translation, insight on verticals, etc.

Some training courses are too geared towards promoting new products, but others, more technical or specific, are interesting.

We have never tried to participate in the challenges offered, all of which are focused on growing the spending of our customers, where we focus our efforts on their satisfaction.

The interest of the program also depends on our contacts at Google. In my case, they have always been very nice, involved and responsive, but the pervasiveness of commercial discourse is delicate with customers, who point this out to us almost all the time.

Isabelle Gay-Crosier, communications and marketing specialist

Personally, as a small agency and solopreneure, I do not receive any advantage to be part of the Google Partner program except the notoriety and the confidence that my customers or prospects can bring me by seeing my badge.

In fact, for the past 3 years, I have no longer had a personal advisor (I am too small) and the Google Ads advisers I have on the phone are nice, but often not much more focused than I am.

For the rest, I’ve already tried chatting with a Google Partner manager when I’m having problems with the program, but honestly, all emails are no-replies so it’s a waste of time trying to contact them. And for the quarterly results that could offer me benefits, it is dead enough for me. 🙁

On the other hand, I think that we must continue to be able to offer qualified people and agencies a recognition of their work and a badge, but perhaps with more human criteria or more as at the beginning – 4 or 5 years ago when I became a Google Partner: good practices were really judged on good practices and not on recommendations that do not necessarily benefit end customers.

Loric Sacarrère, Google Ads consultant (E-commerce specialist).

Personally, the advantages are quite invisible to me (even if I manage more than 150,000 € / month of budget for my customers, I remain a small contributor for Google).

Theoretically, the main advantage is to be in direct contact with account managers at Google …

… but the quality of their support has deteriorated significantly over the last 3-4 years, so this is no longer a real advantage of the Partner program (this can even be a source of inconvenience if we follow their recommendations blindly).

Maurice Largeron, Audit, advice and training in marketing & digital communications

It has the merit of existing nevertheless! What would we do without Google? But its advantages are reduced like a skin of sorrow for the reasons mentioned above.

We should not throw a stone at Google either. The partner program was able to produce useful content for online advertising professionals. I’m thinking of English-speaking YouTube channels, sometimes in French.

Organizing seminars is also a way to get in touch with the Google Brand for small providers. But the future is clouded over the operational value of a google Partner provider.

Il faut monter d’un cran, passer du temps sur la stratégie d’acquisition, là se situe dans l’avenir la valeur ajoutée d’un prestataire en marketing (forcément digital), car pour l’instant, notre cerveau organique reste le plus fort !

Les obligations du programme Premier Partner

D’après Google : “Le programme Google Partners accorde ensuite le statut Premier, chaque année civile, aux entreprises participantes situées dans les 3 % supérieurs en termes de performances.”

Avec Blaise, nous sommes Google Premier Partner depuis 2018.

Ce statut impose beaucoup plus de contraintes que le statut Google Partner classique.

Vous signez un contrat de partenariat avec Google en début d’année.

Un contrat dans lequel Google vous impose des objectifs dans 3 domaines :

  • Dépense Google gérée pour nos clients ;
  • Nombre de nouveaux clients créés ;
  • Qualité de gestion des comptes.

Dépenses Google

Google regarde le total du budget publicitaire géré l’année n-1. Et nous donne un objectif pour l’année suivante.

Pour avoir fait parti du programme pendant 3 ans, je n’ai jamais vu un objectif inférieur à +90% sur cette partie là.

Lorsqu’on leur explique que c’est irréaliste et qu’on y arrivera pas, on nous répond que pour atteindre la lune il faut viser les étoiles.

Que si l’objectif n’est pas atteint c’est pas si grave.

Mais que quand même si on en est trop loin, notre participation au programme l’an prochain ne sera sans doute pas reconduite.

Nombre de nouveaux clients créés

Le principe est le même sauf qu’il s’agit de nouveaux clients (au sens Google), c’est-à-dire le nombre de nouveaux comptes Google Ads créés avec parfois des non-sens (devoir créer un nouveau compte alors que le client en a déjà un).

Qualité de gestion des comptes

Qu’est-ce que la qualité de gestion des comptes selon Google ?

Globalement, adopter toutes leurs technologies dédiées à l’automatisation du compte (smart bidding, etc.) et faire en sorte que les clients dépensent sur tous les canaux proposés par Google Ads (Search + Display + Vidéo).

Le tout donne une note sur 100.

Que se passe-t-il pour l’agence partenaire si la note est trop basse ? Elle se voit simplement menacée d’exclusion du programme Google Premier Partners.

Et tant pis les enchères automatiques ne sont pas rentables pour certains clients (tarif adwords), si le canal Display est parfois parasité par des clics frauduleux ou que le client n’a pas de budget pour produire des clips vidéo pour des campagnes publicitaires sur Youtube.

Les absurdités du programme Google Partners

Pour l’agence, les exigences demandées par Google en termes de performance s’avèrent souvent irréalistes (nombre de comptes ouverts requis, augmentation des dépenses publicitaires pour chaque client).

Mais les retours sont eux quasi inexistants pour l’agence partenaire.

Le programme fonctionne de manière très unilatérale, mais cela ne préoccupe guère chez Google où l’on imagine certainement que le prestige de travailler à leur côté est largement suffisant :

  • Le prestige d’avoir un badge rouge (vous avez vu mon joli pin’s sur mon site web) ;
  • Le plaisir de recevoir de la formation continue (ou plutôt des mises à jour sur l’argumentaire de vente) ;
  • La possibilité de disposer d’un accompagnement commercial pour signer de nouveaux clients ;
  • La possibilité de tester des fonctionnalités nouvelles avant tout le monde ;
  • La participation au jeu des agences, pour gagner quelques gadgets estampillés “Google”.

Est-ce qu’on peut parler d’un partenariat équitable ? Chacun est libre de juger.

Mais lorsque Google contacte des clients en direct à des fins commerciales (en court-circuitant l’agence partenaire), le programme de partenariat tourne alors à la mascarade…

Google contacte nos clients pour les faire dépenser plus (et accessoirement ils vont altérer notre travail)

Malgré qu’un client soit géré par un Partner, il peut être contacté en direct par des “interlocuteurs” vraisemblablement externes mais qui se présentent au nom de Google (avec une adresse e-mail de l’entreprise).

On lui proposera notamment un entretien gratuit, dans le but d’augmenter la performance de ses campagnes.

(mais n’est-ce pas là le métier de l’agence partenaire, et la raison de l’existence même de ce partenariat ?)

Pire encore, la qualité des conseils divulgués que nous avons pu observés est très faible. Elle se résume globalement à 3 sujets :

  • Comment dépenser plus ;
  • Encourager à adopter le système d’enchères automatiques ;
  • Démarrer des campagnes sur d’autres canaux que le Search : display, vidéo notamment.

Ca ressemble beaucoup à une démarche commerciale d’incitation à la dépense.

Mais pour le Googler Partners, c’est aussi un coup de couteau dans le dos.

Que doivent penser nos clients quand un “représentant” de Google les appelle directement avec des directives qui vont parfois en contradiction avec le travail que nous fournissons ?

Un mot pour rendre justice aux Googlers

Cet article est plutôt négatif vis-à-vis de Google (plus précisément de son programme Partners).

L’idée n’est pas de taper dessus pour taper dessus. Je vois plutôt ça comme une main tendue pour améliorer le programme.

Et j’aimerais nuancer mes propos et rendre justice à tous les Googlers que j’ai pu rencontré et avec lesquels j’ai travaillé.

J’ai toujours été très bien reçu chez eux (Zurich, Dublin, Paris, Mountain View).

Et la plupart (si ce n’est tous) sont des personnes formidables.

Quelques-uns sont même devenus des amis.

Je pense sincèrement que le problème vient de la culture de l’entreprise, pas des personnes.

A force de se faire « bourrer le crâne », ils ont visiblement perdu le sens des réalités.

Les employés évoluent dans des bulles très éloignées des réalités du « vrai monde » et, je peux le dire, également du business.

Les nouveautés du programme (juin 2020)

Google a très récemment informé tous les Google Partners des changements qui interviendront sur le programme d’ici juin 2020.

Qu’est-ce qui va changer au juste ?

Vous pouvez lire tout le détail chez Searchengineland ici et ici. Pour ma part, je reprends quelques passages importants.

Un minimum de 20’000$ sous gestion

Google monte le niveau d’exigence pour avoir le badge partner.

Auparavant, vous deviez gérer des clients qui dépensaient au moins 10’000$ par mois pour être éligible.

Au final ce montant était assez facile à atteindre, ce qui explique le nombre d’agences ou freelances Google Partner.

Par ce geste, Google souhaite certainement diminuer le nombre d’agences Partner, pour augmenter la valeur perçue de celles qui auront conservé leur badge.

L’obligation de compter plus de collaborateurs certifiés

Désormais, au moins la moitié des utilisateurs qui ont accès aux comptes devront être certifiés.

Ce qui pose déjà des problèmes puisque pour le moment, Google ne semble pas vraiment distinguer les collaborateurs agence et les clients finaux qui ont accès à leur compte.

Espérons que cela va s’améliorer rapidement…

Vu la qualité du système de certification, je vois pas en quoi ce point va faire une différence.

Evaluation liée au score d’optimisation

Ce point est à mon sens le plus problématique.

En clair, en tant que Google Partners, vous allez être évalué sur le score d’optimisation des campagnes que vous gérez.

D’après Google : “Le taux d’optimisation fournit une estimation du potentiel de votre compte Google Ads tel que vous l’avez configuré. Il est mesuré sur une échelle de 0 à 100 %, la valeur maximale signifiant que vous pouvez tirer pleinement parti de votre compte.”

Dit simplement, plus vous vous approchez de 100%, plus vos campagnes sont estimées être performantes.

D’après Google toujours : “Le taux d’optimisation est calculé en temps réel d’après les statistiques, les paramètres et l’état de votre compte et de vos campagnes. Il s’appuie aussi sur l’impact des recommandations disponibles et leur historique récent.”

Autrement dit, ce score d’optimisation dépend des recommandations que Google vous propose dans l’onglet recommandations.

Cela signifie que si vous n’appliquez pas les recommandations de Google Ads, vos notes seront basses et vous risquerez de perdre votre badge.

Autre point important parmi les nouveautés: ignorer les recommandations non pertinentes permettait jusqu’alors de faire monter le score à 100%.

Google précise qu’à partir de juin ce sera terminé.

Pour moi, c’est une dictature.

Que valent les recommandations Google Ads ?

Je viens de publier une étude sur les recommandations Google Ads.

Puisque les partenaires Google vont être “fliqués” sur la base du score d’optimisation (lui-même lié aux recommandations), je voulais savoir si :

  • Ces recommandations sont pertinentes ;
  • Elles sont dans l’intérêt de nos clients.

En résumé, sachez simplement que oui elles sont globalement pertinentes.

Mais non, elles ne vont pas forcément dans l’intérêt du client final.

Le système de scoring utilisé par Google pousse fortement à l’adoption des technologies automatisées, ainsi qu’à l’augmentation des dépenses publicitaires.

Autrement dit, les partenaires doivent se plier aux exigences grandissantes de Google et devront dans certains cas accepter de favoriser les intérêts du géant de la tech plutôt que ceux de leurs propres clients (et donc des leurs).

Le prix à payer pour conserver son badge ?

Conclusion

Bien que toujours Google Premier Partner, vous ne trouverez plus le badge sur mon site web. Et puisque ce jeu ne m’intéresse plus, je ne serai plus Google Partners au mois de juin.

Je déteste qu’on me force la main. Je défends les intérêts de mes clients avant tout. Si ceux-ci sont alignés avec ceux de Google tant mieux. Sinon tant pis. Leur badge est une farce. Un sentiment très souvent partagé par mes amis en agence et les indépendants freelances.

Et vous, qu’en dites-vous ?