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What is Google AdWords?


Google AdWords is Google's advertising service. It lets you create ads to display on various Google-owned platforms, as well as Google's Search Partner Network.

One of the main places you will see AdWords ads is on Google’s search results pages. They are the listings labeled as "Ad" that can appear above and below the search results for some searches, particularly product-related searches.

AdWords is primarily based on a pay-per-click (PPC) pricing model. So, you only pay when someone clicks on your ads. There is also CPM pricing, where you pay per 1,000 ad impressions, but this is not as popular as the PPC option.

Whatever pricing model you choose, you determine the cost of your campaign by setting a daily budget. The pricing and budgeting options give you control over how much you pay in total, and how much you pay for each click.


Types of Ad

As already mentioned, one of the most common types of AdWords ad is a text ad that appears on Google search result pages. AdWords ads can appear in a number of other locations, including Google Image Search, Google Shopping, or the Google Search Partner Network.


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Google Shopping populates your ad with information taken from a product data feed you upload to Google. This includes the product image and price making them, in many situations, more impactful than text ads.

The Google Search Partner Network includes some Google websites, as well as a network of millions of other websites that offer space to run ads.

You can also run remarketing ad campaigns through AdWords. Instead of targeting ads using keywords, Google displays your ads to people who have visited your website in the past.

How Google AdWords Works

Most ads set up in AdWords target keywords that people use when searching in Google. When someone searches with one of your selected keywords, Google uses a competitive auction to determine which ads to display.

How Does the Competitive Auction Work?

For many keywords, there are more advertisers that want to appear on a search results page than there are slots available. Google must decide which ads to display and in what order. It does this through a competitive auction that considers three main features of your ad:

  • Keyword
  • Quality Score
  • Bid

Let's look at each in more detail.


Keywords are a crucial part of running most types of ad campaigns using Google AdWords. In other words, getting your keyword strategy wrong can mean a lower return on investment.

For example, if you mistakenly select keywords that don't have buying intent, you may end up paying for clicks from users who are searching for information, rather than for potential products to buy.

Of course, keywords are not the only crucial factor of an effective Google AdWords campaign. In fact, in some campaigns, such as remarketing campaigns, keywords don’t apply at all.

That said, for many campaigns, keywords are very important.

Keywords in a Google AdWords campaign are given one of three match options:

  • Broad match - your ad can potentially display on any user search that contains the keyword
  • Phrase match - your ad will only display when the exact phrase is used in a user search
  • Exact match - your ad will only show when the search exactly matches the keyword

Quality Score

Google gives your ad a Quality Score for each keyword you target. This score indicates how useful and relevant Google thinks your ad is. In simple terms, a better score is likely to get a more prominent placement. This applies even if another advertiser bids higher.

Google uses several factors to determine Quality Score. This includes the content of the ad, the ad's CTR (Click-Through Rate), and the ad's landing page.


This is the amount of money you are prepared to pay for each click. The level you set often determines if your ad appears for a particular search and, if so, where.

Using AdWords

AdWords is a comprehensive advertising tool offering a number of options depending on your industry, customers, and objectives. In addition, Google’s tools and platforms remain among the largest and most widely used on the internet.

This means the potential audience you can reach is significant. For many businesses, AdWords is an important part of their advertising strategy.



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