Step By Step Guide To Getting Your Google Ads Certification

In a world where many people offer services like SEO and Google Ads, it’s important to show up and be as educated as possible.

Both seasoned veterans and new professionals can benefit from Google Ads certification.

As an industry standard with content tied directly to the Google Ads platform, it’s the industry’s most trusted accreditation and training source.


What is Google Ads Certification?

Google Ads Certification is a process by which Google recognizes marketers as experts in online advertising.

After passing the Ads certification exams, individuals earn a personalized certificate and, if affiliated with a company, can contribute to the company’s Google Partner credentials.

Like many Google products, properties, and initiatives, the program has evolved over the years.

The certification program was self-contained and had a cost associated with taking exams.

This changed with the creation of the Google Partners program and evolved further with the migration to Google Academy for Ads in 2018 and, more recently, a rebranding to Skillshop.

Individual certification still works the same as it has for the past few years with training content and exams.

Over the years, certification has become a minimum or expected requirement for entry level search marketing roles for agencies and corporations.

Even when I hire someone who will follow our training program, I know that they are ready to invest the time and that the importance of taking the certification step is crucial.

Having this basic level of exposure about Google is much more specific than what a textbook can provide about how Google Ads works.

On top of that, it’s helpful to be able to affiliate with someone who’s already certified with my agency’s Google Partner account.

This step-by-step guide provides a walkthrough on how to get Ads certified, as it can be a confusing process when you do it for the first time or when you only come back every year or occasionally for recertification.

Step 1: Get started in Skillshop

Access the Google Ads Certification Platform in the Skills Store.

In the upper right corner, click on “Connect”.

Now we are immediately at a critical stage. We want to make sure that the account you’re getting certified through is the one you want to certify.

If you work for an agency or a company, you’ll probably need to use your work email address.

Regardless of agency, business, or other status, you could potentially link your certification to the address you manage Google Ads to keep things simple and clean.

If you haven’t managed Google Ads yet and don’t have an account, you can easily create a new account here to get started.

If you’re a repeat user, be sure to find your Skillshop profile and make sure your Google account is still properly linked, so you don’t accidentally take exams in a new account rather than recertifying your current account.

Account management can be confusing and frustrating as there are separate profiles but linked accounts between this system and Google’s ad management accounts and systems.

If you want your certification to be considered for a Google Partners badge, be sure to use your company email address that you use to distribute ads from your Google partner company to link things properly.

If you are interested, I encourage you to learn more about the Google Partners Program details, requirements and logistics for setting up.

Step 2: Select your exam

If necessary, navigate back through Skillshop to Google Ads Certifications again to get to the page with the list of exam topics.

Screenshot of July 2022

Here you can find the specific certification you want to start with and click on it.

In the specific certification, read the general information.

When you’re ready to dive, click the Start button.

Step 3: Prepare for exams

Google provides both basic educational information and more comprehensive training content.

Specific Google Ads certifications include:

  • To research.
  • To show.
  • Measure.
  • Video.
  • Shopping Ads.
  • Apps.
  • Creative advertisements.

If you’re new to Ads and the certification exams, I recommend starting with the Google Ads Search Certification.

Search Network ads are typically the most common type of ads a business runs.

But if you’re more focused on something like shopping, then steer clear of that.

Google Ads Search CertificationScreenshot of July 2022

The content of the training is linked to each of these specific certifications.

When you click on one, you will be given options to get started, including a quick knowledge assessment and other resources.

You will need to plan to invest at least a few hours to go through the training content specialization.

If you’ve run ad campaigns or have more exposure, it’s always a good idea to go through the modules, even if you do it faster.

The sample questions are very helpful; they are written in the same format as they appear on the actual reviews.

Unless you have already been certified and/or have a moderate level of advertising experience, do not skip the training content!

Step 4: Pass the assessment

To earn certification, you must pass the assessment in one of the respective certification specialties.

Your certification will then be awarded for that specific area of ​​product interest.

You can stop with one specialization or continue through additional specializations until you have mastered and achieved all of the applicable ones for your required qualifications.

If you’re an overachiever or like standardized tests, nothing says you can’t pass them all.

Note that if you do not pass an exam, there is a waiting period before you can try again. It’s the only real punishment for not succeeding.

When you have passed one or more assessments, I recommend that you download the digital certificate(s) and save them, in order to have proof of your certification.

Also, you can create a public profile page that showcases your proficiency.

You can activate the public profile (if you have not already done so) by clicking in the upper right corner of the page, then on “My account”. You will find a toggle switch for “Public” to turn on if you wish by following the prompts.


Google Ads certification provides basic credentials for new professionals managing ads.

It also provides an ongoing opportunity for industry veterans to maintain their status and show their longevity by keeping certified and staying current with the platform and changing best practices over time.

Whether you’re looking for your first industry job outside of school or leveraging certification for a Google Partners designation, I recommend the Learning and Maintenance of Standard Education and Qualifications program.

There are other excellent training and education programs available from third parties.

However, Google Ads certification still carries weight in the industry and is a common expectation for paid search practitioners.

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