Google Adwords

Google AdWords is an online advertising service that places advertising copy above, below, or beside the list of search results Google displays for a particular search query, or it displays it on their partner websites. The choice and placement of the ads is based in part on a proprietary determination of the relevance of the search query to the advertising copy. AdWords has evolved into Google's main source of revenue. Google's total advertising revenues were USD $43.7 billion in 2012. AdWords offers pay-per-click (PPC), that is, cost-per-click (CPC) advertising, cost-per-thousand-impressions or cost per mille (CPM) advertising, site-targeted advertising for text, banner, and rich-media ads, and remarketing. The AdWords program includes local, national, and international distribution. Google's text advertisements are short, consisting of one headline of 25 characters, two additional text lines of 35 characters each, and a display URL of 35 characters. Image ads can be one of several different Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) standard sizes.

Google AdWords is the single most popular PPC advertising system in the world. The AdWords platform enables businesses to create ads that appear on Google’s search engine and other Google properties.

AdWords operates on a pay-per-click model, in which users bid on keywords and pay for each click on their advertisements. Every time a search is initiated, Google digs into the pool of AdWords advertisers and chooses a set of winners to appear in the valuable ad space on its search results page. The “winners” are chosen based on a combination of factors, including the quality and relevance of their keywords and ad campaigns, as well as the size of their keyword bids.

More specifically, who gets to appear on the page is based on and advertiser’s Ad Rank, a metric calculated by multiplying two key factors – CPC Bid (the highest amount an advertiser is willing to spend) and Quality Score (a value that takes into account your click-through rate, relevance, and landing page quality). This system allows winning advertisers to reach potential customers at a cost that fits their budget. It’s essentially a kind of auction. The below infographic illustrates how this auction system works.

Conducting PPC marketing through AdWords is particularly valuable because, as the most popular search engine, Google gets massive amounts of traffic and therefore delivers the most impressions and clicks to your ads. How often your PPC ads appear depends on which keywords and match types you select. While a number of factors determine how successful your PPC advertising campaign will be, you can achieve a lot by focusing on:

  • Keyword Relevance– Crafting relevant PPC keyword lists, tight keyword groups, and proper ad text.
  • Landing Page Quality – Creating optimized landing pages with persuasive, relevant content and a clear call-to-action, tailored to specific search queries.
  • Quality Score– Quality Score is Google's rating of the quality and relevance of your keywords, landing pages, and PPC campaigns. Advertisers with better Quality Scores get more ad clicks at lower costs.