Google has announced that it will replace its Advertising Professionals scheme with an AdWords Certification programme for ad agencies.

On the Inside AdWords blog, Google’s vice-president of global agency development Penry Price said that the move will provide "better training and more rigorous certification in AdWords proficiency" for those involved in search engine marketing.

Under the new initiative, marketers managing AdWords accounts on behalf of advertisers will be able to access new webinars and online development materials to help them better understand changes in the pay per click service’s functionality, as well as the wider search marketing sector.

Google will also introduce tougher exams to test their application of best practice, with advanced tests to measure competency in search, display and data analysis.

Agencies that attain AdWord Certification will receive a Certified Partner badge that they can display on their websites, which will include a "click to verify" element taking advertisers to a profile page on the company.

Earlier this week, Google announced the launch of the Ad Innovations website, which will allow marketers and advertisers to explore the search engine’s latest ad formats.

News brought to you by ClickThrough – specialists in Search Engine Optimisation and Internet Marketing.

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