Google Ads has rolled out strict new requirements to access its professional certifications on Skillshop.
Before undertaking any of its new exams, marketers will now be required to:
- Take a picture of a photo ID.
- Take a picture of your face.
- Record a video of your test taking environment.
New tougher rules. Google also announced that during exams, a live proctor will monitor the activity of participants via a webcam, as well as screen-sharing software. If the proctor notices any unauthorized behaviour, they will pause the exam and send you a message. You will also be recorded during the exam for review purposes. These are the exam guidelines:
- You are not allowed to have open books.
- You are not allowed to have notes.
- You are not allowed to use scratch paper.
- You are not allowed to take restroom breaks.
- You are not allowed to use a handheld calculator, you will have a calculator built into your test screen.
- You are not allowed to use headphones.
- You are not allowed to wear hats.
- You can take your exam in a public area, without any people in the background.
- Moderate background noise is allowed.
Why we care. The new requirements Google is asking of marketers to simply undertake its exams have been deemed unreasonable and extreme by some. Meanwhile, given the sharp rise of automation in PPC, marketers are questioning the value of acquiring additional certifications, let alone the justification for the associated costs.
‘Ridiculous!’ The PPC has been reacting to Google’s new certification requirements on X and it appears they are not impressed. Paid Search Director Melissa L Mackey, posted:
- “This is so crazy. “Without any people in the background.” No headphones. WTF. Some of us work from home with other people around and wear headphones so we don’t bug others. Completely ridiculous.”
Global Paid Search Lead, Fraser Andrews, added:
- “This is actually crazy!”
Michael Costin, founder of digital marketing agency Local Digital, wrote:
- “The same company that manipulates bids to thieve more money from advertisers now demands that you send them your ID in order to take a test that shows you know how to use their platform properly… that they then manipulate any way.”
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Why now? Google has rolled out its tougher new criteria as it pilots three new professional certifications on Skillshop. Select partners are being invited to undertake exams to obtain the new certifications in Display Search and Video for free until 31 December 2023. Next year, advertisers will have to pay to sit the exams.
Deep dive. Visit Skillshop to learn more about using Google’s products to their full potential.