Google has launched a beta search platform for those certified by the company as professionals who can help manage Adwords campaigns. People can look up by location and amount they want to spend on a weekly basis. and find people who have passed the Google Adwords Professional certification.
Once you go through the initial search you can add other services you may need such as online display advertising, search engine optimization, traditional advertising (print, TV), web design, website analytics, affiliate programs, new media (mobile & social networks), creative and design services, call recording and tracking, auto-optimization tools and marketing consultancy.
I was one of the first 100 who got certified when it was first launched but have not done the recurring tests that Google requires to keep their seal of approval on my site. But with this listing service I guess I will have to.
This directory of professionals may have many individuals and agencies scurrying to get certified and listed and paying the $50 every 18 months. While it is commendable that Google has this program - the fact that it costs money to get listed and requires taking a Google generated test only to pass seems a bit unfair. One wonders what the limitations will be for people taking tests under various names to get listed in major cities. Does this unfairly help agencies over small shops or individuals who can get listed in multiple cities?
Obviously people who manage large spends will get an advantage, but even small shops do get their money back in bonuses that can be used with new clients that are offered to those managed a MCC account.
The Learning Center is thorough and well worth the time of anyone who works with Adwords - even the best of us can learn some things.