Since starting at my new job, I had to be trained on the spot using the marketing platform for Google, Bing and Yahoo. One thing my boss wanted all the employees that work in search marketing to have was to be certified with Google Adwords. I did some research ahead of time and noticed that the exam was revised in November 2009 and made much harder to filter out those who don’t know the platform from those who do. To be certified for Google Adwords you need to take two exams; the first is about basic fundamentals and the second in either advanced search or reporting and analysis. There were also very few posts/threads on sample questions, practice tests or anything that would help me. The little information there was, turned out to be an emphasize on the amount of detail in the questions.
I have only used Adwords for a month, 6-8 hours a day and I skimmed the help center for an hour or so and managed to pass the test with a 89% score. Most of that is attributed to my hands on experience and my coworker mentioning that the test would ask for really pointless questions like the size of an image ad that’s allowed (which you could easily look up, I do not know why information like that is required to know). The test itself won’t be a cakewalk for those who haven’t managed a campaign or dealt with features such as the ‘My Client Center’ which is used to handle multiple accounts. I remember one question asked what I would do as the first step when dealing with a new client. Out of all the answers, the one that dealt with talking about the advertising goals for the client was best suited. Those answers aren’t available in the Adwords Help Center (at least I couldn’t find it afterwards) so it’s best to have some hands on experience before taking the test.
Some questions that were on the exam:
- The maximum length of a video ad
- What was the advantage of using the display ad builder
- What the formula for ad ranks was
- What the Adwords Discounter was
- If image ads show up on mobile phones
- When to deliver key messages in the video ad
Out of the 120 questions that were asked in the exam, I’d say a good 20 of them won’t be found in the Help Center. You’ll be required to think about these questions which will turn out to be very easy if you’ve had experience with a client or fooled around in Adwords and are very familiar with the interface. It was a shame there wasn’t enough resources online for helping people with this but I guess it’s a way of filtering out those who shouldn’t get it. I still have one more exam to go so hopefully that won’t be any harder then this was. If you have any questions, leave me a comment and I’ll answer them.