To better understand what Google AdWords are, you first need to understand pay per click. Pay per click advertising appears at the top and right side of a search engine results page (SERP). Search engine marketing services work by associating your ad with a keyword or phrase related to your product or service. Any time that keyword is used in a search, your PPC advertisement will be shown on the search results page.
You only pay for PPC advertising when a customer actually clicks the link to visit your website. The cost charged for each click depends on popularity of the keyword, the search engine’s assessment of how descriptive the PPC ad and keyword are to your website, and how frequently your ad is clicked vs. your competitors’ ads. While PPC advertising shows up most often in search engine results, pay per click results may also appear on different advertising networks and various websites across the Internet.
AdWords are specifically a Google service in which advertisers can bid on keywords to have their text or image ads appear on Google’s search network (search engine results pages) when someone searches for those keywords or on Google’s content network when the page being viewed is relevant to those keywords. Bing and Yahoo have their version of AdWords, but the results are less than spectacular.
The difference between AdWords and other companies offering pay per click services is Google’s complicated and proprietary system. The system is designed to assign a “quality score” to the landing pages to which ads direct viewers. If a landing page does not meet Google’s quality standards, the advertiser faces a choice: bid an unusually high amount to have the ad shown or improve the quality score of the landing page.
Google AdWords is Google’s main advertising product and main source of revenue. Google’s total advertising revenues were $42.5 billion in 2012. Their AdWords program includes local, national, and international distribution.
Working with Google AdWords is both a science and an art.