Google recently announced their annual recipients for the coveted AdWords Top Contributor Badge for 2013 and I’m honored to have been selected again this year. This badge is awarded annually to those Google AdWords Top Contributors who make great contributions to the community throughout the year.
What are Google Top Contributors?
This is often a question that I am asked when I mention that I’m part of the AdWords Top Contributors program. Simply put, Google Top Contributors (TCs) are a group of forum volunteers that over time have been individually recognized for significant positive contributions to a particular (or sometimes multiple) Google product help forums or communities. TCs often demonstrate excellent product knowledge and share actionable and practical experiences. TCs assist other users with a variety of topics that could range from product use and implementations to developing strategies and troubleshooting.
Fun Fact: Approximately 11 million users are assisted each month by only a few hundred TCs worldwide; across dozens of Google products and in numerous languages.
What Are the Benefits of Being a Top Contributor?
Ask 100 TCs this question and I’d bet you’d end up with a 100 different answers. There are a few stated benefits but I’d like to take this a little deeper and discuss some benefits (intended or otherwise) that I’ve found to be quite amazing. In the short years that I’ve been around the Top Contributor program, this list has certainly grown and become more impressive to me.
Here are a few in no particular order:
Networking – I’ve been privileged to have met some really amazing people through the TC program and I feel extremely fortunate for having been exposed to such a variety people and their cultures. It has proven to be an eye opening experience for me and I can now say that I have friends all across the world. TCs are some of the coolest, most amazing people I’ve ever encountered. Although networking is a natural process when working in groups, I’ve been able to translate that into personal growth as well.
Knowledge – I honestly believe that I owe a considerable amount of my AdWords knowledge to the AdWords Community. By engaging on a regular basis, I’m constantly consuming new information or forcing myself to seek information that I may not be 100% sure of, either way, I continue to learn everyday. Very few professional environments would allow someone to experience so many perspectives on AdWords and PPC advertising in one place.
Fun Fact: Currently, there are about 50,000 questions and articles that have been posted on the AdWords Community. The knowledge contained in these conversations is often based on real life experience and can be very applicable to numerous AdWords accounts.
Googlers – Without a doubt one of the more fascinating benefits of the TC program is the direct access we have to Googlers. Because the TC program is protected by NDAs, we’re privy to information, trainings and beta programs that are generally not offered to the public. We get a glimpse into what the future looks as well as the Google culture, almost as if we’re a mini extension of their team.
Events – One of the more prominent and visible benefits of the TC program are the invitations extended for us to attend Summits at Google HQ in Mountain View, CA. I’ve been able to attend TC summits the previous two years and have had some amazing experiences gathering with my fellow TCs and Googlers, visiting Google’s offices and exploring sunny California.
From what I’ve noticed and experienced, regardless of which product they represent, where they live or which languages they can speak, the common threads that bring all TCs together is passion for Google’s products, a thirst for knowledge and desire to give back. Beyond meeting a number of TCs online and in person, I also happen to work with fellow AdWords Top Contributor, Kim Clinkunbroomer. Without question, I’m quite appreciative and proud to be part of the TC program. It has helped me progress personally as well as professionally and I look forward to being a part of if for a long time to come.