If you think you’re not familiar with AdWords, you’re most likely mistaken. Every time you use Google, and a variety of other sites within their content network, you see them. These are those little boxed advertisements that appear on the right side of your screen (and sometimes at the top) every time you perform a search on Google.
AdWords is an advertising program created by Google and is their major source of revenue. It consists of both site-targeted and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. Ads can be either text or images. Regardless of the type of advertisement used, there’s no arguing that it has become an extremely popular moneymaker for them. They began in 2000. At the time of its initial offering, they was purchased on a monthly fee basis and Google would handle the purchaser’s entire campaign. Because many small businesses preferred to handle their own campaigns, Google introduced a self-service portal. Then, in 2005, they added Jumpstart, a program designed to help new advertisers set up their campaign.
While AdWords is certainly very popular, it’s not a very easy system to use. In fact, it is so complex that Google started a program to certify people and companies who have taken specific training and passed the exam.
Still, many companies are intimidated by the intricacies involved, so they hire certified consultants to manage their campaigns instead. The PPC advertisements offered by AdWords involve the advertisers submitting their ad to Google along with a list of words that, when searched, causes their advertisement to appear in the margin of the screen.
The order in which advertisements appear depends on how much the advertiser bid as well as its quality score, which is determined by the ad’s click-through rates and its relevance to the search conducted. Using bids to help determine ad placement is often referred to as pay for placement, or P4P. Their other form of advertising is site-targeted advertising. Google introduced site-targeted advertising in 2003. Using this form of advertising, advertisers specify keywords and Google places the ads on sites that are in some way related to the keywords and that fall within their content network.
Unfortunately, they don’t disclose which sites the advertisements have been placed on. As such, advertisers have very little control over where their ads appear. They can, however, provide them a list of sites on which they don’t want their advertisements placed.
All of these ads have the potential to appear on Google’s website. In addition, advertisers can have their ads appear on partner networks of them. When advertisers select this option, their ads may appear on AOL search, Netscape, and Ask. Ads appearing on these search engines work in the same manner as they do on Google- that is, they show up depending on what the user searches for.
The search network is different from the content network in that sites included in the content network are not search engines. Instead, the sites in the content network use another portion of the Google advertising program, AdSense. AdSense is primarily utilized by publishers interested in drawing traffic to their sites. This has become the subject of some controversy among Internet entrepreneurs and affiliate marketers. They believe AdWords is responsible for making their task more difficult and taking money out of their pockets by ruining their own advertising campaigns.
Because of this, some entrepreneurs are offering instructional materials for ways to work around these and to design campaigns that are as successful as, or perhaps more successful than, AdWords. Whether you’re a fan of AdWords or feel it’s a detriment to your own efforts, knowing how it works may be essential to your Internet success.
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