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September 19, 2006

AdWords doesn't want Canadian Qualified Companies in Google Advertising Professionals

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!

Posted by Jenstar at September 19, 2006 09:07 AM


see also www.businesshackers.com

Posted by: Fred at September 19, 2006 12:01 PM

Maybe they will change their minds after they read this type of posts.

Posted by: wentworth at September 19, 2006 04:24 PM

Wow, Google is grossly excluding a large market share. I wonder what the deal is, and what their their explanation or justification for such an omission will be.

Posted by: Rebecca at September 19, 2006 04:28 PM

Jen, there are at least 12-13 known Canadian Gaps

plus Google explicitly says Canada is eligible in their Promotional Credits FAQs

....yep, it definitely says Canada :-)

Posted by: WhoisaGAP at September 20, 2006 02:41 PM

Ahh yes, welcome to the world of the most insular people on Earth. Google alleges themselves to be a world-wide country but likely most of the PhD's there never took a geography course, because to an American citizen geography is one step from a dirty word.

I operate a business in the US and my primary suppliers are in Canada. What a hassle this gives me just getting the simplest of recognized goods shipped across the border. I have an 800 number to facilitate my business. You have to look through hundreds of 800 number suppliers to find one who doesn't charge you a lot extra for calls originating in Canada ... foreign country, you know.

It's pretty sad, to say the least. At least Google isn't quite as bad as the Yahoo Publisher Network. They are so "international" in thought that they will drop a publisher if the publisher gets too many visitors from outside the US .. as if the publisher can control from where people surf.

As an American who has spent much of his life overseas I can only say I love my my own country but it can certainly embarrass me with its ignorance at times.

Best regards

Posted by: Dave Starr at September 20, 2006 03:05 PM

Apologies Jen, just saw your reference to 'companies' as was following the thread from SE Roundtable where Barry was reffering to 'professionals' which is the overall term for the program, and he hadn't differentiated 'companies' from 'individuals'.

You are right there are no Canadian Qualified Companies. However I wouldn't get to hung up on the Company status, we have always thought its real purpose comes down to the requirements for agency commissions driven by France plus European Trade Policy which means the same rules must apply througout Europe. So the Company status is mainly used as a way to manage commission eligibility. That's why you'll see there are actually more qualified companies in the UK than US for instance. http://www.whoisagap.com/companies/

Posted by: Whoisagap at September 20, 2006 03:07 PM

I can't imagine there are many companies based in Vatican City wanting to become Google Advertising Professionals.

Posted by: Safalra at September 21, 2006 03:24 AM

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