Google has announced a number of changes to its AdWords platform that will offer better training for agencies, and lower costs for agencies that help advertisers get the most out of the program.
Perhaps the biggest news is that Google is giving its AdWords Certified Partners free use of the AdWords API, according to a post on Google's Agency Ad Solutions Blog. Agencies must meet Google's criteria and have existing profile pages for the search giant to wave the fees.
Google is also raising the bar for certifying agencies that manage AdWords accounts on behalf of advertisers. The search giant is retiring its Google Advertising Professionals program and replacing it with the new Google AdWords Certification program, which is designed to provide agencies with up-to-date, comprehensive training and certification for managing AdWords accounts.
In that same vein, Google is launching a searchable directory of certified AdWords partners to help advertisers find the agency that matches their needs. That database, Google Partner search, can be found here.