Google on Monday announced a new program called Google Partners, aimed at agencies and Web professionals who help businesses succeed online. The new initiative is kicking off as a pilot in Canada, but will expand to more countries if it is deemed successful.

Google Partners brings together the company’s existing programs under a new platform that makes it easier for agencies to access Google resources, training, and support in one place. It’s not just an amalgamation though: the company has also created a new Partners community to “foster knowledge sharing within the industry” and to “provide more opportunities for dialogue with Google specialists.”

PartnerBadge Horizontal Google uses Canada pilot to launch new Partners program that offers agencies resources, training, and support

More specifically, Google Partners will let agencies and Web professionals:

  • Become a Partner: Earn the Google Partner badge (pictured above) to indicate to your current and future clients that you are a trusted Google Partner.
  • Hangout with Google: Join an exclusive Google+ community to receive support from Google specialists and to talk with industry experts.
  • Connect with Customers: When you earn the badge, we’ll introduce you to potential clients through Google Partner Search.
  • Access Exclusive Content: Explore a library of the latest Google-created trainings, case studies, and pitch materials to help deepen your expertise.

The third point is worth expanding on. Google Partners Search will let businesses easily locate any Google Partner across Canada and connect with agencies or certified professionals that have been verified by Google, meaning they helped their customers and used “the latest best practices.” Google promises to only award badges to agencies and web professionals “that have met high quality standards in customer care and online expertise.”

You might be wondering why Google has picked Canada as its test market. We expect that it’s for similar reasons as to why Facebook uses New Zealand for its various tests: both American firms want to deploy their latest ideas in significantly smaller markets that still have English as their native language.

Google says Google Partners will target an estimated 6,000 small agencies and Web professionals active across in Canada. The company says it “may look to roll this out more broadly in the months to come” but wouldn’t offer details beyond that.

Top Image Credit: maplerose