Archive for October, 2010

October 22, 2010 - Posted by Nicole Arena

On October 19, 2010 I received my individual qualification in Google AdWords Certification Program with a specialization in Search Advertising.  The process was somewhat more challenging than I expected and I am proud of myself for this accomplishment.  Now I would like to explain to others how I became qualified and offer some tips to those planning on getting their own certification.

I decided to get my AdWords certification to develop a more detailed understanding of SEM.  Since Google is a powerful force in the world of SEM, I figured it was the best place to start. My first bit of advice about the AdWords Certification is to make sure you thoroughly go through all information they provide for you. The tests you take are very comprehensive and require that you have a superior understanding of all AdWords processes and tools.

 In order to become individual qualified you must do the following:

  • Pass the AdWords Fundamentals Exam
      • Passing Score 85%
  • Pass one of the three Advanced Exams
    • Search Advertising Advanced Exam
      • Passing Score 80%
    • Reporting and Analysis Advanced Exam
      • Passing Score 75%
    • Display Advertising Advanced Exam
      • Passing Score 70%

Each exam is 120 questions and has two hours allotted for completion.  The test are not free, each AdWords test costs USD $50. If you fail an exam, you must wait seven days to retake the test and pay the test fee again. The certification is vaild for 2 years after the passed exam date.

The information to pass the exams is available to you in the AdWords learning center. In total for both exams, I spent approximately 50 hours studying the learning center materials.  It will be helpful if you can actually use the AdWords interface to practice, but it is possible to pass the exams from just the information in the learning center. Throughout the learning center there are also e-learnings and videos which supplement the material. I highly recommend you do every one available.  

To the topics covered in the AdWords Fundamental Exam are:

  • Overview of AdWords
  • Getting Started with AdWords
  • Account Management Basics
  • Campaign Management Basics
  • Ad Group Management Basics
  • Overview of Ad Formats
  • Ad Formats, Guidelines and Best Practices
  • Overview of Targeting and Placement
  • Keywords and Keyword Targeting
  • AdWords Language and Location Targeting
  • Placement Targeting for the Display Network
  • Overview of Bidding
  • Overview of Budgets
  • AdWords Polices
  • Ad and Site Quality
  • Overview of Optimization
  • Optimizing AdWords Campaigns and Ad Groups
  • Optimizing Websites and Landing Pages
  • AdWords Value Proposition
  • Selling The Benefits of AdWords
  • Maintaining Client Relationships


The Search Advertising Advanced Exam contains almost all the topics on the Fundamentals Exam but adds the following topics:

  • Location Extensions
  • Invalid Click Issues
  • Overview of AdWords Tools
  • AdWords Editor
  • Overview of Performance Monitoring and Conversion Tracking
  • AdWords Reporting
  • Conversion Tracking Basics
  • Optimizing for Greater Conversions
  • Overview of Managing Multiple Accounts
  • Managing Multiple Accounts with My Client Center MCC
  • Using AdWords API


I would love to discuss AdWords with you or give you examples of possible test questions.  Just leave a comment or send me an email.  Now, I plan on learning more about Google’s AdSense. I will let you know how that goes !

To find my Google AdWords Certified Individual Profile Page :



Confirm my status in the directory by visiting

Click –>  ”Search for individuals who have passed a Google Test”. –> Nicole Arena

October 14, 2010 - Posted by Nicole Arena

I am proud to be a part of SDSU’s 2010 graduating class, even if I did get thrown into an economy that is losing thousands of jobs each month. Now that I have my degree in marketing, I want to learn more. With all of the information I retained from college, I understand it was just the tip of the “marketing iceberg”.

I am beginning to dive even deeper into information and resources available to me. Since graduation I have learned the process to developing a website and I have almost completed my Google AdWords individual certification. I will continue to stay on top of social media, take webinars, read books, magazines and newspapers. I will use my blog to keep you up to date on my latest learning projects.

I encourage readers to comment on posts and discuss opinions with me. I find the more the merrier seems to work best when throwing ideas around. If there is a topic you would like my take on, just ask :)

October 12, 2010 - Posted by Nicole Arena

Welcome to my blog or as I also would like to call it my “personal soapbox”. This is my little piece of cyberspace where I can freely give my opinions on the latest happenings in the marketing and advertising industries. I promise to have plenty of rants and raves; so be sure to stay tuned and get a peek inside the mind of Nicole Arena.