Mar 19

A Weasel's Guide to Passing the AdWords Exam

I recently passed Google's Search Advertising Advanced Exam and I feel pretty good about it. I am happy with the test process Google put forward - despite my anger with the company for dealing Google Reader a death blow (similar to what UNLV will put on the East this March Madness – Grandmama’s spirit remains!). As someone passes Google’s tests regularly people often ask for me for some helpful hints. However, I think hints are less helpful than learning how to weasel. I present: 3 weaselly tips to pass the Google AdWords Exam.

Weaselly Tip 1 - Google Wants You To Pass the Test

Use the mindset that Google wants as many certified experts as possible. Google makes most of their money from PPC advertisements, and it is in their interest to have as many certified experts evangelizing their products as possible. If a person spends all their time studying Google’s system and becomes a certified expert, it is unlikely that they will then jump into Microsoft’s poorly designed AdCenter (Microsoft's zombie version of AdWords). With this in mind think of how Google wants to be perceived, and generally pick  the answer that reflects Google in the best light. This is like that jerk witch in Snow White who asked "Mirror Mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?" she only got the answers she wanted because she asked the question. Google wants to be the fairest of all. A few ways that Google wants to be perceived include:
  • The system is fair for everyone. It doesn’t matter if you are a big or a small advertiser. Google wants to be known for caring about relevancy.
  • There are a variety of settings that Google allows. Know these settings, but also know if Google asks if a setting is possible during the test - it probably is.
  • It is less formal than Ask Jeeves.

Weaselly Tip 2 – Use Practice Tests

You wouldn’t run a PPC campaign without all available information, so why take the test without all available information? There are a variety of practice tests online, and many of them have the actual questions from the test on them! Booyeah! The questions on the practice test that are not actually on the Google  test help you start to think about the type of questions Google asks. Here are two good practice tests:

Weaselly Tip 3 - Use Multiple Computers

When taking the exam Google blocks out your whole screen so you aren’t able to Google search the answers on your same computer. However, if you have another computer, iPhone, iPad, or Tiger Electronics Watch you can search the answers on a separate device. Take some serious notes in an easily searchable interface such as Evernote when you are studying and take the exam using these notes. Adam Lundquist is the office weasel. Connect with Adam on Google+.