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SEO Web Design, LLC / SEO  / SEMs Not Happy With New Google Partner Program Requirements

SEMs Not Happy With New Google Partner Program Requirements

Google announced[1] new Google Ads Partner program requirements this week and the SEM and advertiser community is not happy with these changes. The big changes are doubling the ad spend, more of your company need certification and requirements to adhere to Google’s recommendations over what might be best for the client.

The changes are starting at the end of June 2020.

Here are the changes:

Spend Requirements:

Before: Meet a 90-day ad spend requirement of $10,000 USD across your managed accounts to show that your company has a healthy amount of activity.

After: Meet a 90-day ad spend requirement of $20,000 USD across your managed accounts to show that your company has a healthy amount of activity.

Certification Requirements:

Before: A company needs 1 user certified in Google Ads who has admin or standard access to the company’s Google Ads manager account or any account linked to the company’s Google Partners registered Google Ads manager account.

After: A company needs to have at least 50% of its eligible users earn updated certifications from Skillshop. Learn more about the Google Ads certification.

Performance Requirements:

Before: Meet the performance requirement by delivering solid overall ad revenue and growth, and maintaining and growing your customer base. Partners evaluates the client accounts linked to your manager account during an 18-month period. Partners requires at least 12 months of spend activity in your manager account.

After: Meet the performance requirement by using Google Ads effectively to set up and optimally run campaigns to maximize outcome. Access your ‘Recommendations’ tab to see the actions you can take to improve your performance. Note: We evaluate the optimization score without dismissed recommendations for the company performance requirement.

Also there are new badges coming for 2020:

click for full size

Premium badges have higher level requirements; to be eligible for the Premier Partner status in 2020, companies will need to first earn the new Partner badge. The Google Partners program will then grant Premier status to the top 3% of the participating companies each calendar year.

Now, here is some of the feedback from the industry:

You should be ashamed of yourself. Forcing advertisers to adhere to @googleAds recommendations instead of client needs. Despicable. cc @WittedNote[2][3]

— Greg Finn (@gregfinn) February 13, 2020[4]

It seems like the requirements weren’t thought through. Small businesses will lose their status (e.g. less people certified than you require) – unless we start asking clients to get certified. What benefits? I haven’t seen any benefits from the Partner Badge.

— Krystal C (@krysmariec) February 13, 2020[5]

Must accept automated recommendations (that are often terrible) even if irrelevant to clients or lose your badge? You want 61 members of our agency to get qualified – we don’t employ 61 people!

It REALLY looks like an exercise to maximise revenue from advertisers. Not great.

— Brett Dixon (@BrettDixon) February 13, 2020[6]

We have to agree, this is a revenue booster if ever we’ve seen one.

— Force Nine (@forceninemedia) February 13, 2020[7]

That is just a sprinkling of the complaints.

Forum discussion at Twitter[8].


  1. ^ announced (
  2. ^ @googleAds (
  3. ^ @WittedNote (
  4. ^ February 13, 2020 (
  5. ^ February 13, 2020 (
  6. ^ February 13, 2020 (
  7. ^ February 13, 2020 (
  8. ^ Twitter (

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Search Engine Roundtable is a well-rounded view on search engines and search engine marketing from five segments of the Web population represented by senior members of the major SEO/SEM forums on the Internet.

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