My day began with a very rude awakening as my alarm went off at the ungodly hour of 4:15am. Now there are very few occasions where it is acceptable to wake up at this time, perhaps to catch a flight, embark on a road trip or, as we were lucky enough to do so, journey on down to London for a Google Search Bootcamp.
Today was the day Peter and I would travel to the big smoke and get our search on as we discover what it’s really like in the infamous technicolour building of Google HQ.
Armed with copious amounts of coffee, we boarded the train at 6:05am from Leeds to London Kings Cross and our journey began! Unfortunately (but unsurprisingly) we encountered a delay on our journey which meant we had to follow a diverted route into Kings Cross – adding 40mins onto our journey (boo!).
Once we finally made it into Kings Cross station, we caught the tube to Covent Garden and arrived at Google.
After making our apologies, the staff took our names and handed us our badges (making me feel very important). We were then given strict instructions to follow a member of staff, take one of what seemed like a hundred lifts to a specific floor where we would be greeted by another member of staff and taken to bootcamp. This all sounds very formal but infact the staff were so friendly, likeable and actually very cool (just as you’d expect with Google really) and once we found our seat it seemed the only thing we had missed so far was the breakfast spread and introductions.
The Search Bootcamp was split into sections, all relating to and targeted towards the Search Advertising Exam which we were take at the end of the day. Our Google speaker took us through his presentation, stopping for questions and team quizzes as we made our way through the complex world of search.
One thing that stood out to me was how much more information you could gain from a bootcamp, rather than just sitting and reading through the online study guides. It did highlight a few inconsistencies though as many people pointed out conflicting information between what was being presented to us and the information in the online study guides. After recovering from a red face, our Google speaker advised that we should always go with the information provided in the study guides as this has been updated more recently (perhaps this presentation needs to follow suit then)?!
Aside from this faux pas, the presentation was actually really engaging, informative and I learnt a lot. Towards lunchtime, our Google speaker sensed restlessness and rumbling tummies so it was time to break for lunch.
And what a lunch it was! One thing Google does know how to do is to put on a good spread and as I queued up to choose my lunch, I was spoilt for choice, presented with smoothies, sandwiches, sushi and cupcakes of every variety – just when I thought I couldn’t love Google anymore :).
Time pressed on and we were now into the afternoon and in the second half of our bootcamp. The presentation seemed to pick up pace as we were all now looking towards the impending exam in a couple of hours time. Conscious of covering everything that could potentially crop up in the exam, our Google speaker swiftly but thoroughly made it through his slides, only stopping for another team quiz before the real thing.
So this was it! Silence ensued and it was time to take take my Google Search Advertising Exam. Now admittedly, I had taken this exam before a couple of years ago but with the everchanging digital landscape, the certification I had achieved was only valid until the following year so it was time to reaffirm my status as an official Google Certified Partner.
As I made my way through question after question, I realised that they were fresh, relevant and completely different to the ones I had seen in my previous Search Advertising Exam. I was nearing the end and I was feeling the pressure but with the bootcamp fresh in my mind, I was quietly confident I had done what was needed. And I was right! I scored 94% and was now a proud Google Certified Partner once more.
With two pass rates in the bag, Peter and I packed up and said our goodbyes to the friendly Google team. Just before we left though, we were handed a Google goodie bag full of Google-inspired treats to take home with us. As if this day couldn’t get any better!
Thanks Google, we had a great day and conquered Google Search Bootcamp!
Now it was time to head back to Yorkshire and finish the day by sitting down with a good ol’ Yorkshire brew (that’s one thing London still need to work on).