When I saw this thread at Search Engine Watch forums, my first response was “no way, this can’t be true”.
We recently tried to apply to be a Qualified Company in the Google Advertising Professionals program. According to their site, and the rep who emailed us, you have to be in the U.S. or in a EMEA country. We were informed, very politely, that we can’t qualify because we are located in Canada.
Yes, despite the fact that I could literally leave my desk right now and walk to Google’s Toronto sales office, we don’t really exist in Google’s eyes.
Perhaps we should consider relocating to Azerbaijan, Botswana, Eritrea, Bosnia, Kazakhstan, or Iran, where Google would be happy to have us as a Qualified Company. Perhaps we should join with the thriving online community in Nigeria, from where Google would also welcome us.
With all the countries that AdWords supports in their Google Advertising Professionals (GAP) program for becoming a Qualified Company, could Canadians be excluded from joining?
The answer is – unbelievably – yes. If you are Canadian, you cannot become a Qualfied Company in the Google Advertising Professionals program. The list of acceptable countries is here… there are 130 supported countries, including several countries I hadn’t even heard of before. But definitely no Canada. Canadians are only able to become qualified individuals.
And it definitely is not an oversight, as the quote from the thread above shows, Google AdWords support was contacted about it, and she received the same response from Google.
When looking at it closer, only US and EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) countries are permitted. This means Mexico as well as South American countries are also excluded from becoming a Qualified Company with AdWords.
Why are non-US and non-EMEA countries excluded from becoming a Qualfied Company? I have no idea, but for whatever reason, it wasn’t simply an oversight. I wouldn’t have thought that Canadian advertisers would have been considered small enough fish that they’d chose to ignore all of them!