Google Delays Launch of New Partners Program to 2021

In light of the rapidly changing events around COVID-19, Google Ads sent an announcement they are suspending the planned changes to their Partners program until 2021.

“As we continue to adapt to COVID-19 across the globe, we understand that this state of uncertainty can be difficult for you, your families, your business, and your customers. To help you focus on what matters most, we’ve decided to postpone the June 2020 launch of the new Google Partners program and new badge requirements until 2021.” – Google Official Announcement

Planned Google Partners Changes

The new set of requirements were announced in February, to start being enforced in June.

Google had been communicating with agencies about any potential changes to their partnership status based on the new rules.

These changes had included:

  • Evaluation of whether accounts follow Google’s optimization score recommendations.
  • Minimum Google ad spend in last 90 days of $20,000.
  • At least 50% of users must have updated Google Ads certifications in Search, Display, Video, and Shopping.

What This Means for Current and 2020 Partner Earners

These new rules will no longer be enforced, and Partners will retain their current status and specialization badges.

If current agencies have not yet earned their Partner status in 2020, they are still eligible to do so as before.

They will not need to meet these new requirements.

The old requirements and spend thresholds will still be in place until the change in 2021.

If agencies lost their specialization as of January 1, 2020, they will be re-granted their former status until 2021.

How COVID-19 Is Affecting the Launch

The changes in the Partner program would have been hitting agencies during a shaky time.

The new requirements for spend may be hard for agencies to achieve in the coming months as companies pull back their budgets.

There may also be account recommendations agencies can’t accommodate due to restrictions, budget restraints, or other unforeseen issues with the economic trends.

With team members at home, changes in staffing, and other team-related challenges, the 50% threshold for users to have certification may have also created daunting challenges.

Google’s Additional Help to SMBs

Google previously announced they will also be providing $340 million in ad credits, in addition to $15 million in cash grants to nonprofits.

They have also earmarked $20 million in ad grants to community financial institutions specifically to fund public service announcements on relief funds and aid for SMBs.