On October 23, 2000, Google AdWords was born. At the time, AdWords was the first DIY advertising platform on the web, and it quickly became apparent the platform would revolutionize the advertising industry forever. In honor of AdWords recently turning 15, let's take a look back on the history of this intuitive and effective advertising platform.
The Early Years: 2000-2003
After conducting extensive testing throughout 1999, Google introduced AdWords in 2000 as a pay-per-impression advertising platform. Users who wanted to take advantage of the service would sign up and "bid" on how much they were willing to pay per one thousand impressions (CPM). The highest bidder would appear in the highest position on the search engine results page (SERP).
While the idea was simple, effective, and innovative, the early inception of AdWords featured no Quality Score and very few spam filters. Between 2002 and 2003, though, Google AdWords experienced a 300 percent growth rate in terms of both revenue and employees, and the future was looking bright.
By 2005, Google had begun building out its search results and adding things like targeted advertisements. To expand its user experience, AdWords joined forces with AdSense to allow users to display ads on a wide selection of websites.
AdWords also added conversion tracking services, which allowed marketers to track which keywords and campaigns were resulting in the highest level of sales. AdWords also added GIF compatibility to their services, which allowed marketers to use GIF files to display visual content in their advertisements.
The Present Years: 2008-2016
Even with its long history, Google AdWords continues to evolve. The platform has added features like Google Shopping, Insights for Auction, and the transition over to Enhanced Campaigns, which have served to increase the focus on mobile search since 2013.
Currently, advertising accounts for about 95 percent of Google's total revenue, and there are currently more than 1.2 million businesses using Adwords. Judging by Google's long and extensive history, it's clear that AdWords isn't going to slow down anytime soon. As online advertising continues to evolve and develop, AdWords is certain to lead the way.