Yesterday, the folks over at Stone Temple Consulting interviewed Google’s Gary Illyes and posted the interview on YouTube, and one question that Gary answered was about SEO certification. In short, Gary said that Google discussed internally if they should add an SEO certification program and have decided not to do so.
Google does offer certification for AdWords, display ads, AdSense, Analytics, Google Apps, and the list goes on an on. But for SEO, Google will not be offering certification.
It seems the main reason is that Google doesn’t want to accept money from webmasters when it comes to the organic search results. Organic results are not based on paying Google, and if Google accepted money for certification, it would feel wrong, Gary implied. He also said that certification and training doesn’t scale well, and the organic search side of Google is all about scaling things.
So while Google has discussed SEO certification many times, each time they come back to the same outcome — that they will not provide SEO certification.
Here is the video embed, which starts at the 55-minute mark:
Matt Cutts of Google had a video back in 2010 about SEO certifications, where he explains why it is hard for Google to offer such certification:
Also, former Googler Pedro Dias has an older post about why Google doesn’t provide SEO certification.
As I said, I think the closest thing to Google’s SEO certification is Google’s top contributor program. But even there, there is a fine line drawn about their connection with Google.