Google Certification for SEO : Top Certifications and Courses in 2020

Google Certification for SEO : Top Certifications and Courses in 2020

SEO is one of the most popular areas of digital marketing. It is not surprising that there is a huge choice of educational programs. Beginner programs provide fundamental knowledge of website promotion. Expert courses focus on specific optimization tools and methods. Meanwhile, some resources provide information free of charge, while others charge hundreds of dollars for lessons. Potentially counter-intuitively, free courses do not mean poor quality or reduced functionality. To navigate this diversity, we have prepared an overview of the best certifications and courses in 2020.

Who Are Seo Courses Designed for?

First of all, SEO courses are useful for beginners. If you are making the first steps in this field, you will have to learn huge scopes of information on your own. The authors of SEO courses greatly simplify this task. The training materials are divided into thematic blocks. They provide the most relevant and useful information and all this is supported by real cases from experts in their field.

It is a good habit for a professional optimizer to periodically update knowledge with new courses. SEO is one of the most dynamic areas of internet marketing. Google regularly introduces new algorithms and filters. The rules change during the game. Strategies that were efficient a few years ago require a new approach. A good optimizer keeps learning. Online courses are one of the ways to track the latest trends and improve your skills.

Even if you are not going to build a career in SEO, understanding the basics of optimization will come in handy. Every website owner, whether it is an online store or a blog, should take online courses. You will be able to increase your position in the search results, get more traffic, and new clients.

What Does It Mean to Be Google Certified?

There is a lot of competition among SEO specialists. Completed Google courses will look impressive in your CV. What is Google SEO certification? The certificate formally confirms that you have completed a specialized educational course. That is, you have mastered the necessary set of knowledge and are ready to implement it in practice. Also, the official document shows the employer the seriousness of your intentions, your desire to self-training, and achieving set goals.

Employee certificates have a positive impact on the reputation of the business as a whole. For example, to get the honorary status of Google Partner or Premier Google Partner, at least one of the company’s affiliated members must have Google Ads certification (other requirements included). First of all, this is important for SEO and PPC agencies. This status has a number of advantages:

  • Affiliate program participants, as well as agencies with the Google Partner badge or Premier Google Partner badge, are the first to receive information about updates and receive training on advertising products and sales. They also have access to Google promotional codes and interaction with the support service via phone, email, or live chat.
  • Google Partners and Premier Google Partners can additionally count on supporting marketing campaigns and participating in contests between agencies.
  • The exclusive status of Premier Google Partner gives you the right to participate in business training for managers and the annual partners’ summit. They get advice on new strategies and a separate account management support team.

How Do I Get Google Certified?

Why Does Google Have no SEO Training Certification?

A magician never reveals his tricks. It is of utmost importance for Google to keep its algorithms secret. The introduction of Google SEO training certification involves providing comprehensive data on the internal mechanisms of the search engine. The company does not do this to avoid conflicts of interest and manipulation by SEO specialists. 

Still, Google strives for transparency as much as possible. The Search Optimization Starter Guide has been created to help website owners and web developers. Here you will find useful tips on how to make a Google-friendly website; how to index content, and when to avoid this step; how to correctly select a URL, structure information, and organize website navigation; how to work with meta tags, images, and links. Adherence to these principles will help search engines to better scan, index, and understand your content.

What Google Certifications Are Useful for SEO?

You can’t become a certified SEO expert with Google but you can officially confirm the achievements in related areas. To do this, Google has launched a special online learning platform called Skillshop. All courses are absolutely free of charge. After testing, you will receive a certificate that will be displayed in your profile. You can also share it in social networks or print it out. The validity period of the Google Ads certification is limited. Depending on the certificate type, you will need to confirm it again in 1-2 years.

  1. Google Ads Certification
  2. Analytics Academy Certification
  3. Google Marketing Platform Certification
  4. Google My Business
  5. Waze

How to Get Google AdWords Certified?

The first step is to create a Skillshop account. You can register as a freelancer or specify the company you work for – in this case, your company’s management will receive notifications about your progress. Then you need to select the topic of interest in the catalog and start studying.

You can get certified after the successful completion of two exams. The first is the universal Google AdWords Fundamentals test. The second test you choose from one of the specialized fields:

  1. Search Certification confirms the ability to build advertising campaign strategies using Smart Bidding and Audience Solutions tools.
  2. Display Certification shows how well you are able to work on brand awareness and interact with potential clients to increase sales.
  3. Video Certification confirms your ability to create a positive brand image with video campaigns, provide users with the most relevant ads, attract attention with creative stories, and increase conversion with YouTube and GoogleVideo tools.
  4. Shopping ads Certification shows that you have learned how to use Google solutions to attract new clients, promote your product range, and build a dialogue between buyers and sellers of a regular or online store.
  5. Measurement Certification demonstrates the ability to evaluate the effectiveness of advertising campaigns, analyze conversion data, and use it in making marketing decisions.

Questions in tests are often practical in nature. The more experience you have with advertising campaigns, the easier it is to pass the certification exam. The main exam takes 75 minutes, and the test for the chosen specialty takes 90-120 minutes. It is enough to score more than 80% of the points. If your first attempt was not successful, you can take the test again in a day. We recommend spending this time on self-education. Testing helps to detect gaps in knowledge and fill them with useful information. Each course contains training materials in the form of text, flashcards, and short videos. Depending on the topic, it will take you from 2.5 to 5 hours to study them.

How to Get an Analytics Academy Certificate? Google Analytics Certification Study Guide

You can take free training courses, pass the analytics test, and get a certificate on the Google Analytics Academy website. Google Analytics Consultant should be able to analyze the behavior and interests of the target audience, track traffic and conversion, identify the most efficient strategies for product promotion, and so on. You can immediately test your knowledge in the test account.

To become a certified user, you need to go to the Skillshop website and pass the Google Analytics Individual Qualification exam. How long does Google Analytics Certification take? This depends on the chosen field of study and your level of knowledge. A careful study of the material will help you pass the Google Analytics exam. The material of each training block is designed for an hour, but you can follow your own rhythm. Another hour is allocated for completing tests. The Google Analytics certification is valid for 12 months, after which you need to pass the GAIQ test again.

Google Marketing Platform Certification

This is another large-scale course from Google experts. Just like Google Ads certification, this program contains two mandatory tests. The first certification exam reinforces your understanding of the main tasks and workflows in Google Marketing Platform products. The second exam shows the profile knowledge: 

  1. The Search Ads 360 Certification Exam confirms your ability to configure your campaign and measure KPI in your Search Ads 360 dashboard, calculate conversions, and optimize your advertising strategy using Floodlight tags.
  2. The Campaign Manager Certification Exam indicates your understanding of the basics of targeting, creating, optimizing, and evaluating campaigns in Campaign Manager.
  3. Creative Certification demonstrates the ability to find creative solutions for ads and customize them with Display & Video 360 tools.
  4. The Display & Video 360 Certification Exam officially reinforces the skills of developing, implementing, and evaluating the performance of a media campaign with Display & Video 360 tools.

Educational materials are designed for the average level of knowledge. Each block takes 40 minutes to 1.5 hours but you are free to study at your own pace. Each program ends with an exam according to the standard Google assessment system: you must provide the answers in the allotted time and earn more than 80% of the points.

Google My Business Certification

Complete with its own ranking rules, Google My Business certification confirms your ability to optimize the company’s page in the catalog. This is an indispensable skill for promoting offline business. You get additional organic traffic by putting branches on the map and specifying the details of work.

Waze Certification

The Waze Ads Fundamentals course is useful for those promoting products and services for drivers. You can use navigation systems for your business purposes. Thanks to properly configured ads, your location on the map will become a destination for more clients. To get a certificate, you need to pass a short educational course and pass a 30-minute exam.

Bing Certification

The Microsoft search engine, as well as Google, is in no hurry to disclose its algorithms, so it does not run specialized SEO courses. Instead, you can take the free Bing Ads Certification.

The program is similar to Google Ads but has its own specifics. You are free to take classes in Microsoft Advertising at your own pace. At the end of the training, you will need to pass a certification exam of 100 questions by giving at least 80% of correct answers. As a result, you will receive a Certified Professional badge, a printed certificate, and a place of honor in the Microsoft Membership Directory. Certification is valid for one year; after which you will need to pass the certification again.

What SEO Courses Can I Take in 2020?

  1. SemRush Academy
  2. MOZ – The Beginner’s Guide to SEO
  3. Yoast Academy 
  4. Coursera
  5. Udemy
  6. ClickMinded 
  7. Udacity
  8. LinkedIn Learning
  9. Hubspot Academy
  10. SEO Classroom Training (by Bruce Clay)

SemRush Academy

SEMrush is one of the largest players in the digital marketing field. The company’s software is in demand all over the world. In 2008, the company presented a SEO extension for the browser and soon switched to the SaaS model. The next logical step was the launch of SEMrush Academy.

All courses are absolutely free of charge. You simply need to register on the SEMrush website. You can take training in several specializations: SEO, PPC, SMM, content marketing, or an affiliate program.

The full SEMrush course involves a deep dive into SEO. The disciplines include SEO basics, working with key queries, technical SEO, mobile SEO, local SEO, working with backlinks. Courses on working with SEMrush tools for beginners and advanced users, website audit, competitive analysis and keywords testing, On-Page and technical SEO testing, link building, rank tracking will definitely add value to your CV. You can get a free certificate in each field.

The courses are divided into easy-to-understand modules. You will find short video lessons, text materials and practical life hacks from Internet marketing gurus Greg Gifford, Ross Tavendale, and Bastian Grimm. The quizzes at the end of the lessons will help you evaluate your progress. After the final exam, you will receive a SEMrush Academy certificate. You can add it to your LinkedIn profile or your CV. SEMrush Academy is the best start to your SEO career.

MOZ’s The Beginner’s Guide to SEO


MOZ is a well-known manufacturer of SEO software and data processing tools for websites of any format. The free Beginner’s Guide to SEO gives you a complete overview of the search engine optimization industry. The course is divided into 8 sections on the principles of search robots, key queries, on-page optimization, technical SEO, link mass, methods of tracking, and measuring traffic. The SEO Glossary is designed to make it easier for newcomers to study the topic. 

Yoast Academy

Yoast Academy focuses on hands-on learning. In addition to introductory materials, program participants will have homework on creating a promotion strategy, writing blog posts, or website code. You can count on feedback from teachers and correct possible mistakes in time. You can choose one of the several pricing plans on the website:

  1. Yoast SEO Academy Free will help you understand the basics of search engine optimization.
  2. Yoast SEO Academy Content and Yoast SEO Academy Technical involve a deep dive into one of the selected topics. The first program will teach you the nuances of keyword selection, SEO copywriting, and proper website structuring. The second one will help you understand the technical aspects of optimization, data ordering, and ISEO. You will also get free course updates and the latest industry news. A one-year subscription will cost USD 299.
  3. Yoast SEO Academy Premium provides access to all educational programs, training, releases, and news on the website. The full package costs USD 499 per year.


Coursera helps you study the disciplines of the world’s leading universities from the comfort of your home. SEO programs are offered by the University of California (Davis), the University of Illinois, University of Pennsylvania, or National Research University Higher School of Economics, etc. 

Coursera SEO training programs are suitable for both beginners and practicing optimizers. When choosing a course, you can take into account the opinions of other users: how useful was the knowledge obtained, whether it helped in further employment. Each course consists of short video lectures, notes, and self-study materials. Homework assignments, mini-tests at the end of each module, and a final exam on the topics covered will help you better consolidate the information.

The most extensive selection of materials on this topic is offered by UCDavis:

  1. Introduction to SEO and SEO Fundamentals courses are designed for novice optimizers. You will learn about the basic principles of ranking content in Google, Bing and Yahoo, how advertising and presentation in social networks affect brand awareness, how to analyze a website and develop a promotion strategy.
  2. Advanced SEO Strategies course will teach you how to find and fix problems, improve the architecture, speed, and display of your website, analyze competitor data, and present your strategy to your clients in the most convincing way.
  3. Optimizing a Website for Search course focuses on working with keywords and local content promotion. 
  4. Website Optimization Client Report Project will teach you how to create infographics, map key queries, conduct competitive analysis, and present materials to the client.
  5. Advanced Content and Social Tactics to Optimize SEO will allow you to develop large-scale marketing campaigns, analyze their efficiency, and interact with opinion leaders to promote the product.

The courses are free of charge. But if you want to get a certificate, you will have to pay USD 50-100. To save money, you can subscribe to SEO Specialization: simultaneously study several disciplines and get the corresponding certificate for USD 39-79 per month.


Udemy is a large-scale educational portal with more than 100,000 online courses. Access to educational materials is paid. In addition, Udemy often provides discounts on its courses. For example, a course worth USD 200 can be completed from USD 10. 

The rating system and feedback from former students will help you choose the right educational program. First of all, you should be guided by the topic of interest and the level of complexity. The most popular directions on Udemy include SEO for WordPress, promotion on YouTube, SEO for local businesses, working with search queries, and link building. Anyone can take courses and get a certificate. The Udemy for Business option allows you to work in groups of 5 or more people which is good for novice SEO agencies.


ClickMinded is a digital marketing school with over 8,000 students. ClickMinded’s core areas are SEO and PPC with initial and average entry levels. In total, there are 7 courses on digital marketing, as well as a set of ready-made templates for website optimization. There is also a step-by-step guide to working with keywords, technical optimization, and the main tools of Google, YouTube, Pinterest, and Amazon. Each course will take from 3 to 6 hours. The materials are divided into small blocks to make the learning process easier. Thanks to convenient navigation, you can repeat the desired lesson at any time.

Course enrollment provides lifetime access to training materials and updates. After successfully passing the exam, you will receive a certificate that is integrated into your LinkedIn profile.

Certification will cost USD 497. The high price is due to the purely practical nature of knowledge aimed at rapid traffic attraction. Lead educators are experts in the digital industry with many years of experience. ClickMinded founder Tommy Griffith is primarily known as the CEO of Airbnb and PayPal.


Udacity is another major hub for online education. It offers programs developed in collaboration with Google. SEO specialists may be interested in courses in App Marketing, Localization Essentials, and Website Performance Optimization. The lessons are designed for different levels of material proficiency and take 1-2 weeks. There is also a wide selection of courses for developers, web designers, VR, Machine Learning, and Data Science specialists. You can always expand the range of your knowledge, master new tools, and even change the professional vector.

Google and Udacity partner courses are free but do not offer certification. However, you can complete them together with other thematic disciplines and receive a Nanodegree Certificate at the end of the full program.

LinkedIn Learning

This certificate can make your CV more attractive to employers but only if it is issued by an authoritative source. LinkedIn’s internal certification is perfect for this goal. You can complete training in the most relevant areas of optimization and immediately confirm the skills stated in your profile.

The platform offers free access to 275 training courses from major SEO agencies and industry experts. The system of filters will help you choose the appropriate one by popularity, level of complexity, duration, and software in question. As a reward for successfully completing the course, you will receive the corresponding icon in your personal profile.

Hubspot Academy

HubSpot provides software for marketing, sales, and customer service based on free CRM. To share their accumulated knowledge, HubSpot experts have launched their own educational portal called HubSpot Academy. Here you can find free courses on the main areas of digital marketing, including SEO. You will learn how to develop a promotion strategy for the needs of a particular business. The emphasis is on getting the link mass and working with blogs. There are 6 lessons, 22 videos, and 3 tests with a total duration of 1.5 hours.

HubSpot also has certification programs in Inbound Marketing or content marketing. In the end, you need to pass a certification exam and practical tasks. You are required to answer the questions within 3 hours. If you are dissatisfied with the result, you can retake the exam every 12 hours. To let employers know about your achievements, place your certificate badge on your website, LinkedIn profile, or Upwork.

The SEO Playbook by Robbie Richards

The SEO Playbook is much more than a collection of theoretical recommendations. 6 years in SEO allowed Robbie Richards to collect a lot of cases on promotion of companies from real estate management to B2B SaaS. The most successful of them became the basis for the SEO Playbook. Do you want to watch the workflow of a professional SEO specialist and find out what techniques really work? Magnum opus includes 14 hours of video training, more than 100 step-by-step video tutorials, 60 tables, and explanatory documents, and 23 in-depth training modules. The library continues to grow. When you purchase a tutorial for USD 497, you get lifetime access to all content and updates.

The SEO Playbook will seem too complicated for beginners. However, mid-level and advanced marketers will definitely find information that can be integrated into their strategy right now.

Having a certificate does not make you an SEO expert. The theoretical basis is nothing without practice. But the more knowledge you have in stock, the more likely you are to develop successful website promotion strategies and get a prestigious job.

About author
Anna has been working in Digital Marketing for 9 years and has extensive experience in SEO, content marketing, customer-oriented product branding. Previously, a commissioning editor in Nighparty Project and a creative member of the Marketing Unilever team in Europe.