Sharing your Google Certification

May 02, 2019

As a search marketer, I am constantly working on building my personal brand. Whether I’m pitching myself or the agency to a client, building my network of movers & shakers at corporate events, or simply interviewing for a job, the brand of Stephen Edmondson is always front and center. And one element that everyone seems to want to know: Are you Certified in Google?

Yes, that is a misnomer, and only really asked by folks who still aren’t really clear on what this whole ‘new-fangled search thing’ is, but certification in Google applications is a thing, and it is important for marketing yourself. Anyone can say they are certified, but few can show it. And unfortunately, Google doesn’t really do a good job of helping you show off or share your certifications. In this blog, I’ll share where to get certified and how to share your certifications.

What are Google Certifications?

If you are new to SEM and looking to carve out your career in the space, I recommend that you read our blog on How to get a job in SEM by Jenny Phu. Then I strongly recommend you get certified using the Google Academy.

Now, everyone says they are certified. I was originally certified in Google Adwords back in 2008. Then I retook the test in 2014 and again in 2019. In between, I used Google Ads on a daily basis, and I told everyone I was “Google Certified,” even though the certification only lasts 1 year.

This is very important. Google Ads changes radically from year to year. Nomenclature, UX, strategy, tactics, optimization options, everything changes over time. This means that if you really want to gauge someone’s basic abilities with Google Ads, then their certification should NOT be expired. If it is, hopefully, they are using the tool every day as I did, but I’d still make them take the certification exam before I hired them.

It’s also important to note that there are multiple certifications, not one single over-arching Google Ads cert. You have Google Ads fundamentals, Mobile Ads, Display, Video (YouTube), Shopping, Analytics, Search Ads 360…you get the idea.

Taking The Exams

In the Google Academy, there are courses that give you an overview of what is needed to pass each exam. However, these are somewhat “Googlely” and don’t always reflect the nuances that appear when the rubber hits the road. BUT they do reflect what kind of content will be on the tests. Each test has a specific time estimate (I would allow for at least 60-90 minutes per test), and set score to pass. Typically this is the equivalent of 80% to pass.

Getting your Certs

So once you pass a test you get a splash screen that says “Congratulations!” and that’s it. There is no instruction or link directing you to download your cert. Ideally, they would just provide you with a shareable link, but they don’t, so here is what they should be telling you:

1. After passing an exam, make your way to the main Academy home page:

2. On the left nav, click on the three little dots:

3. A new nav window will appear. From there, click on the link that says “My Profile”

4. This will take you to your profile page where you can see all of your certs, just at the fold:

5. To see a specific certification, just click on the name or icon of the certification. This will load the certification in a new window. In this window, there is a small printer icon that you can click on to print out your cert:

6. You can use the printer screen to save the file as a PDF.

  • On Chrome: Simply click on the Destination drop-down and select the “Save as PDF” option. Then click “save.”
  • Internet Explorer/Edge: Click on the “Printer” drop-down and choose “Microsoft Print to PDF.”
  • Safari: There is a small option titled “PDF” in the lower left of the printer. Simply click on it and choose “Save as PDF”.

This gets you a file that you can then print, upload to your LinkdIn, add to Google Drive, etc.