Some Google Ads agency partners learned this week that they will be losing their dedicated agency reps as of Wednesday (yes April Fool’s Day). Google has confirmed to Search Engine Land that it has made changes.
Why the change? The agency rep program undergoes a review every quarter. The company says the latest change is not related to support limitations during the coronavirus crisis. Google Ads has been notifying advertisers that “some support options may be delayed or unavailable” due to changing work schedules and routines of support specialists since earlier this month in the Google Ads interface.
It also does not appear to be related to the recent overhaul of the Google Partners program eligibility requirements. Google also said the change is not related to whether an agency has premier partner status.
Affects small and mid-sized agencies. “We recently made changes to Google representative support for our small and mid-sized agency partners,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement to Search Engine Land. “These changes are not related to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. They are part of a routine review where we evaluate our support level for all agency partners. Status as a premier partner does not impact their agency representative status.”
Those that lose dedicated agency support are directed to the general Skillshop training, blog posts and Help portal. Google ended support via social platforms at the beginning of the year, instead directing advertisers to an online form.
Why we care. Google Ads has had a reputation problem when it comes to support. Dedicated agency teams have often been an exception. Now many if not all small and mid-sized agencies will no longer this perk of the partner program.
And the timing couldn’t be worse. Jeff Ferguson, CEO of Fang Marketing, learned this week that his agency, which has premier partner status, is losing its dedicated representatives. “It’s totally the wrong time to do something like this. Even if they had planned to do this eventually, they could have easily pushed it out until things get back to normal.”
Ferguson is currently worried about his clients in healthcare and food delivery that can’t launch campaigns because they are being mistaken for other companies that are profiteering during the coronavirus outbreak. “It was hard enough to get this pushed through with a rep, but now, who knows…”
(Google Ads also beefed up its ad policy around sensitive events this week — squarely aimed at those aiming to profiteer from coronavirus. )