Step-by-step guide to getting your Google Ads certification


In a world where many people offer services like SEO and Google Ads management, it’s important to stand out 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 benchmark 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 related to exams.

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

Individual certification has always worked the same way for several 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 businesses.

Even when I hire someone who will go through our training program, I know they are willing to invest the time and see the importance of taking the certification step.

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 helps to be able to affiliate with someone who is already certified with my agency’s Google Partner account.

This step-by-step guide explains 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 once a year or occasionally for recertification.

Step 1: Get started in Skillshop

Access the Google Ads Certification Platform in Skills workshop.

In the upper right corner, click “Connection”.

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, company, or other status, you’ll probably want to 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 start.

If you’re a former 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 instead of recertifying your current account.

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

If you want your certification to count towards a Google Partners badge, be sure to use your company email address that you use to manage your Google Partners company ads to link properly.

If this interests you, I encourage you to learn more about the Google Partner Program details, requirements and logistics for setting up.

Step 2: Select your exam

If necessary, return to Skillshop until the Google Ad Certifications again to get to the page with the list of exam topics.

Screenshot from, 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 Begin button.

Step 3: Prepare for exams

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

Specific Google Ads certifications include:

  • Look for.
  • Display.
  • The measurement.
  • Video.
  • Purchase announcements.
  • Apps.
  • Creative ads.

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

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

But if you’re more focused on something like shopping, start there.

Google Ads Search CertificationScreenshot from, July 2022

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

When you click on one, you are presented with 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 complete 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 exams.

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

Step 4: Pass the assessment

To become certified, 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 going through additional specializations until you have mastered and achieved all of the ones that match your desired credentials.

If you’re gifted or like standardized tests, there’s no reason 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. This is the only real penalty for not passing.

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.

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

You can activate the public profile (if you haven’t already) by clicking in the upper right corner of the page, then on “My account”. You will find a toggle switch for “Public” to enable 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 demonstrate longevity by staying certified and staying on top of the platform and best practices change 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 program to learn and maintain standard education and credentials.

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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