What is AdWords?

AdWords® is the name of Google’s Pay Per Click advertising system. A Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising system is one where you advertise on websites and get charged every time someone clicks on your ad and goes to your website. AdWords opened up the commercial capabilities of the Internet because, although not the first PPC advertising system, it was implemented far better than its competitors such as Overture. Crucially it was also able to build on the growing market penetration of Google’s search engine.

From a commercial perspective AdWords enabled businesses to buy targeted traffic to their websites instantly. It therefore really opened up the commercial capapability if the web. No longer did businesses build websites and then sit patiently by waiting for traffic to arrive.

The AdWords system has evolved to become extremely complex but it does give you the ability to enter new markets in literally a few minutes which is something that businesses previously had been unable to do.

For example you could decide to enter the market for bicycles in Fiji at 10 o’clock one morning, put up a website by 10:30 and start an advertising campaign on AdWords at 10:40. By using AdWords’ geotargeting capabilitites you could restrict your ads so that they were only seen by people in Fiji.

If someone in Fiji searched for bicycle stores or just bicycles they would see your ad. If they clicked on it you would pay for the click and the searcher would be taken to your website.