UPDATE Jan 2015: Marketade is not currently a Google Certified Partner.

Last weekend, for the first time in 15 years, I screamed in joy after passing an exam.  Fortunately no one was in the office.  I had just gotten a 98% (!) on the 3-hour Google AdWords Search Advertising Advanced Exam — the 2nd of two exams I needed to pass for Marketade to become a Google Certified Partner (along with hitting a certain spend level on AdWords over a 90 day period).

I passed the first exam — the Google Advertising Fundamentals Exam — a few weeks ago.  It was pretty easy if you’ve used AdWords for a while.  But I’d read on various forums that the advanced exams are really tough and you need to know AdWords inside and out, so I spent much of the last week reading through the exam’s study guide and putting the techniques into practice on the client accounts I manage.  I started out dreading the study guide, thinking that it was going to force me to learn about a bunch of useless features.  But I ended up loving the process and looking forward to each new section.  I learned about a lot of great tools and features that I hadn’t used much — like Dimensions reporting.  I was especially surprised at how powerful AdWords Editor is.  I’d used it before but not nearly to the extent I will now.

Even if we get no new business from this new status, it will have been worth it since we’re now a much smarter search engine marketer.  Thanks for the motivation Google!