Stefanie Olsen over at News.com writes about Google’s new “Google Advertising Progressionals” program, aimed at providing better support to agencies representing major accounts. While not highlighted in her article, a one sentence statement points out the first move I’m aware of to “officially sanction” SEMs. According to Ms. Olsen:
“They also can train and take an annual proficiency exam to become a certified “professional” and to display a related logo.”
If true, this is a significant move by Google to grow the SEM market by establishing a trust mechanism… something the now self-imploding SEMPO trade organization failed to take on.
It’ll be interesting to see if Dan Boberg over at Overture moves more aggressively on the branding/certification side, and if this finally results in the official release of the advertiser Web Services platform they’ve been selectively licensing for the past year or so.
Update: Kevin Newcomb (who I was pleased to meet at TKG ILM 2004) has a solid article over at ClickZ with more details on certification requirements, etc.