SEO is something that belongs and should remain in the private side of a website, or professional. And to be honest, I wouldn’t want Google to control everything you put in or take out of any website.
This is a post I initially published in Portuguese with the title “Why Doesn’t Google Provide SEO Certification?”. Nevertheless, I thought it’d be useful to translate it to English since I’ve noticed some buzz about the subject.
Before I start, let me get this out of the way: this is my personal opinion on the subject. Although, Google’s take might not be very far from this.
We all know Google certifies Analytics Partners (GACP), AdWords Partner (GAP), among other Google Partner Programs available. If we take AdWords as an example — where you can become certified both as an individual or a business –, in order to obtain a GAP certification, you must go trough the AdWords Certification Program. Upon successful completion of the exam, you will receive an “AdWords Qualified Professional” or “AdWords Qualified Individual” badge. Which you can happily display in your site afterwards.
A Google AdWords Certified Professional manages AdWords accounts for clients. Some of their responsibilities, consist in creating and setting-up campaigns, and doing the necessary adjustments to ensure the maximum return on investment (ROI). Such adjustments, are always made trough the AdWords API, or web interface. And often have to comply with AdWords policies in order to get approved. In other words, not only is this something that doesn’t happen directly on a website, but Google has control on approving or suspending any kind of activity that infringes on policy and best practices. To sum it up, neither the Analytics Partner or AdWords Professional certifications interfere directly with the organic ranking of a website.
Now, let’s imagine Google would certify SEO Professionals
This means that, after providing an SEO certification, Google would be partially responsible for any actions executed by a professional. In any website… On the whole Internet! It would be nearly impossible to guarantee that, a professional, would always comply with Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. Or revert changes if necessary!
SEO is something that belongs and should remain in the private side of a website, or professional. And to be honest, I wouldn’t want Google to control everything you put in or take out of any website! I don’t think anybody would… All Google wants is to control the quality of its index.
Google always liked to keep money separated from the organic part of search. This in one of the main pillars that allows the Search Quality team to treat big and small websites equally and fairly. Independently of any site having any relation with Google, or being a client of any other Google product — although some of you might think differently.
In a nutshell, this is why Google doesn’t provide any kind of SEO certification (or qualification programs).
See also Matt’s take on SEO certification: