Google Ads Introduces Stricter Certification Requirements on Skillshop

Google Ads has announced more stringent prerequisites for individuals seeking professional certifications on its learning platform, Skillshop. As the tech giant releases three new professional certifications, aspiring marketers will find themselves facing a plethora of fresh guidelines to adhere to.

New Examination Measures

Before even attempting the exam, participants are now mandated to:

  • Submit a photo ID.
  • Provide a facial image.
  • Record their exam-taking environment.

But the tightened security doesn’t end there. During the examination, participants will be monitored live by a proctor through both a webcam and screen-sharing software. If the proctor spots any questionable behavior, they have the authority to halt the test and communicate with the examinee. Additionally, the entire examination process will be recorded for future reference.

Here are the key examination guidelines:

  • No open books.
  • Notes are prohibited.
  • Scratch paper usage is not allowed.
  • Restroom breaks during the exam are not permitted.
  • Physical calculators are forbidden; an integrated calculator will be provided on the test screen.
  • Headphones are not allowed.
  • Hats are not permissible.
  • Exams can be taken in public spaces, but there must be no people in the immediate backdrop.
  • Moderate ambient noise is permissible.

Industry Reactions

The PPC community has been vocal in their criticisms of Google’s updated certification rules. Melissa L Mackey, a Paid Search Director, expressed her disbelief, pointing out the challenges for those who work from home surrounded by family or roommates. Meanwhile, Fraser Andrews, a Global Paid Search Lead, echoed the sentiment, branding the move as “crazy”.

Adding to the chorus of dissent, Michael Costin, the founder of Local Digital, criticized Google’s paradoxical approach. He commented on Google’s audacity to request personal IDs for a platform certification when they are known to manipulate bid systems.

Why The Change?

This rigorous overhaul comes as Google introduces three novel professional certifications on Skillshop. A select group of partners have received invites to take the certification tests in Display Search and Video free of charge until the end of December 2023. However, from next year, advertisers will have to foot the bill for these exams.

Many are left wondering whether these demanding requirements are truly justifiable, especially given the soaring trajectory of automation in PPC. With some viewing the new rules as excessive, and others questioning the very value of these certifications, only time will tell how this shift impacts Google’s reputation in the marketing world.

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