The Google Partners Badge Is Not An SEO Badge

  • Google Partners Complaint Form

So I was researching a few SEO companies in my area recently when I came across an article on one SEO agency’s site as well as a verbatim (possibly paid for) news article where they tried to pass off a Google Partners badge as some sort of SEO qualification.

Google Partners Badge Scam
Qualifications and experience of managing SEO? That’s not true at all.

“… elite level services with Google’s stamp of approval“. This is something that many pseudo-SEO companies usually do to get more clients. Scott Hendison illustrated this problem in his article titled, “You Trust a Google Partner, Don’t You?” where he goes over the consequences of Google removing the word “Adwords” from their Google Partners badge and Google’s vague wording on their Google Partners support page, which doesn’t give a clear definition of what a Google Partner is.

This is the topic that I brought up to Gary Ilyes of Google during the Pubcon speakers enclave in October. Brett Tabke gave us a little dedicated time at the end for Google bashing, and I pointed out that this “new” logo was helping scammers get over on businesses by providing false credibility. There are plenty of “Google Partner” companies out there right now that are actually doing harm, and nothing seems to happen to them.

This very same issue was also pointed out by Tommy McDonald from SERPLogic on the black hat SEO forum Black Hat World in his thread titled, “[lulz Time] 10 Examples of Real Life SEO Lies, Myths and Nonsense You Won’t Believe …“.

2. “I can’t find anything saying you are Google approved on your website. This other company said they do Google approved SEO.”

This is something that Google is actually cracking down on but it still happens. The scam companies will use the Google partner seal on their website and claim they are Google approved. The seal doesn’t mean shit. It means someone at the company passed a multiple choice test and they have some PPC accounts under management. It isn’t an approval of any sorts.

This is another type of person that you can close easily if you just use the same approach as above. Let them know they are lucky they contacted you because you just saved them from being ripped off, then explain what the Google seal really means, and they explain that Google doesn’t endorse any companies. Use this line and you will close every one:

“Google doesn’t endorse any SEO companies. They are straight lying to you. They aren’t a company I would trust with my money or my website if they are dishonest from the start.”

What A Google Partners Badge Really Is

A Google Partner and the corresponding Google Partners badge is simply a company or individual who is certified in Google Adwords (Google’s pay-per-click program that has nothing to do with SEO) and met a spending threshold. That’s it. It even says so right here on Google’s Answers page.

Google Partners are agencies, marketing professionals, and online experts who have been certified by Google to manage AdWords accounts. To achieve Google Partner status, agencies must earn the Google Partner badge, which signifies that the company is healthy, its customers are happy, and it demonstrates Google best practices. Keep in mind that Partners have also agreed to Google’s Third-Party Policy

And they even state on their complaint form that Adwords have nothing to do with SEO as they are completely different.

Google Partners Badge Complaint Form

What A Google Partners Badge Is Not

A Google Partners badge has absolutely nothing to do with:

  • SEO
  • Google Analytics (they have a separate certification for this)
  • The Google Search Console
  • Anything outside of Adwords or advertising with Google.

So, whenever you come across an SEO company saying they’re “certified by Google”, they’re really just certified to manage Adwords accounts, not run SEO campaigns.

Final Thoughts

So, the next time you see an SEO company try to pass off a Google Partners badge as an SEO badge, do all of us a favour and report them using the Google Partners Complaint Form. Simply fill out the form, check the box that says, “The third party misrepresents Google products or their capabilities related to Google products.” and select the box that says, “They confuse search results and ads. (AdWords advertising has no impact on your organic or natural ranking in the search results; the two are completely separate.)“.

Alistair Kavalt