We were recently presented with a challenge by Google; no it’s not the typical “I will beat your algorithm and rank my client sites” although THAT particular challenge is becoming more and more difficult; thank you Panda and Penguin (funny how both algo updates are both black and white animals..Mirror to white hat and black hat SEO? “oh Google will the irony ever end?”). I’m talking about teaching SEM or in this case Google Adwords advertising to the media companies in Lima, Peru.
I know what most of you internet marketers are thinking, “Media companies that don’t manage or understand Google Adwords?” Well yeah. I live in Lima Peru and most of the media companies both BIG and small (local and international Peruvian branches of American companies even) in this country are not certified to actually practice Google Adwords (and yet it is offered to their clients…). Google spoke to their local branch and they decided to have an institute help to certify the local advertising companies who currently manage the system.
So my good friends at Google (yeah an IM’er can have friends at google) contacted me and asked if I would be willing to present the system to some of the digital media companies who run accounts of interest to Google. Now even though some or most of these companies are my direct competition I decided that it was a good opportunity to make some contacts for the future so I decided to take the teaching position since it didn’t take up much of my time anyway.
Now that I explained the situation let me get back to my challenge. I have to say I am a pretty good teacher, I’ve actually taught English before so I kind of have a knack for it; however it has been very difficult for my “students(?)” to pass the certification exams. I mean I know that the fundamentals exam is not exactly easy but I would have thought that people who actively look at and “manage/create” (obvious outsourcing) pay per click campaigns would have a pretty good grasp on the concept.
So far only 2 students out of a total 28 have passed the fundamentals exam. What does this mean? Well it means they don’t study the material for one but there is a more important truth in all of this. Having a certification for Google Advertising is a definite plus here. I have never really pushed the cost per click aspect of m y internet marketing business until recently (due to the classes and all the failing grades) and it has been working marvelously for me. I recently got a client with 15k/month budget and another one with an 8k/month budget and maintaining campaigns is pretty easy. Currently I have 2 more clients on the works and both of them are rather big.
I honestly hope the next group of students do better and pass the fundamentals exam, but even if they do that still doesn’t mean they have the knowledge and experience to make an optimized campaign but I will keep my fingers crossed.