Google starts certification program for SEMs

Stefanie Olsen over at 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.

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