But at the risk of biting the hand that feeds me, I have some “opportunities for improvement” for Google.
The revision for the exam took a fair while, not particularly due to how complex the topic was, but more for the fact that it was dryer than a fossil… Whoever wrote the notes clearly got to the end of writing it and lost the will to live before he/she had chance to proof read before publishing.
The practice exam was littered with errors… there are a couple of things wrong with this for example:
Firstly, this exact same question was repeated twice on the same page, secondly the answer is repeated twice and the first instance is marked wrong, thirdly and most worryingly, the supposed answer is actually incorrect – it’s out of date!
And much to my joy I was faced with the following message a few times :
And I really do mean “joy” because it meant there was less to sift through before getting on with my life!
The AdWords exam focusses on a lot of the account settings, how to navigate through the site and an overview of the tools available. There were some tips on how to optimize campaigns, this was quite useful, but I feel it was a fundamental part of being an AdWords expert, and was in no where near enough detail as it should have been. As with most training, you learn more after the course when you’re actually doing it for real.
I also think it’s a weird process – you can only qualify to do the exam after you’ve been actually doing it for some time, and at a certain spending level. This is strange, because the exam covers the fundamentals – from setting up and using the tools to writing good ad copy. Surely this would be more useful before you start spending your advertising budget?!
It’s certainly a great marketing ploy from Google, when you advertise your capabilities as a qualified AdWords professional, you’re also advertising Google AdWords. You also become more familiar with the brand, and are likely to use the tool more and recommend it to more clients.
In summary, although it’s highly flawed I’m glad I did it; there were some things that the AdWords tools could do that I didn’t know about, and it refreshed my memory of the best practices of setting up campaigns and optimizing adverts; and I get to put the badge on my business cards! But Google needs to update the revision notes, practice exam and test. And I can’t help thinking that a podcast revision session would be quite handy…