Google Sells Endorsements to SEO Agencies
Last time I have written about Google on this blog I promised to be more positive about the
search-monopolist mega-corporation advertising company. You know, it’s not easy for me after all the issues I had with Google. Nonetheless this time I decided to write an endearing article.
For years, maybe even a decade, Google has been explaining to business owners interested in search engine optimization services that you have to
“Beware of SEOs that (…) allege a “special relationship” with Google (…).”
Not in 2014 anymore! Finally Google decided to cooperate fully with the SEO industry to bring the best possible SEO advice to business owners. Google now sells endorsements to SEO agencies. How do I know? I just got approached by an SEO agency that flaunts such an endorsement. At first I was like “whoa, this must be fake!” Then I clicked the link on their site to their Google Partners profile. There it was. Google really endorsed them.
It’s obvious now that the badge also encompasses not only Google ads services but is an overall endorsement. The partial screen shot above shows the services of one of the agencies listed in my area.
How do you get a Google endorsement? You have to pass at least two online exams that are available a click away from your Google Partners profile. Apart of that you need to (as the ToS says below point 9. b. V.):
“reach a minimum level of managed spend in the accounts within your MCC;”
In plain English you need to buy enough Google ads to get endorsed as an SEO company by Google.
Evidently that’s a very popular offer because Google already promotes it with “5000” partners you can search from. I wonder then why they need an apparently made up testimonial on their homepage to promote it:
You might have guessed it, 279digital.com does not exist. The URL leads back to the Google Partners homepage. Judy Nam herself exists all right but she works for Google marketing:
Another direct benefit of the Google Partners program for SEO is that you get a link from Google on your partner profile.
The endorsement is not crippled by the so called “nofollow” attribute.
Sadly it’s not just the link exchange I have hoped for. Can someone who has such a badge please tell me how much you need to spend on Adwords per month to get one?