Google launched AdWords in 2000. At that time google AdWords advertisers 0nly paid for the service monthly, and Google would set up and manage their campaign. To accommodate small businesses and those who wanted to manage their own campaigns, but now Google AdWords is a self-service portal. In 2005, Google started a campaign management service called Jumpstart
In 2005, Google launched the Google Advertising Professional (GAP) Program to certify individuals and companies who completed AdWords training and passed an exam.
In 2008, Google launched the Google Online Marketing Challenge, an in-class academic exercise for tertiary students. Over 8,000 students from 47 countries participated in the challenge in 2008, over 10,000 students from 58 countries took part in 2009, about 12,000 students in 2010, and almost 15,000 students from 70 countries in 2011. The Challenge runs annually, roughly from January to June.
In April 2013, Google announced plans to add enhanced campaigns for AdWords to aid with campaign management catered to multiple-device users. The enhanced campaigns aimed to include advanced reports about users. This move was controversial among advertisers.
In July 2016, Google unveiled “Showcase Shopping” ads. With this format, retailers can choose to have a series of images appear in search results related to various search queries and keywords.
In October 2017, Google revised AdWords daily budget caps, which were previously set at a maximum of 120% of preset daily budgets, to a maximum of 200%. This change was rolled out on the same day it was announced, prompting criticism from paid search professionals, though Google later clarified that this change would affect only short-term campaigns of less than 30 days and that for campaigns running more than 30 days, overage charges would be refunded.
On June 27, 2018, Google announced a rebranding of Google AdWords to become Google Ads as of July 24, 2018. In addition to the full range of advertising capabilities on Google.com and across other Google’s properties, partner sites and apps, the new Google Ads will offer Smart Campaigns for small businesses who don’t have the time or resources to manage complex digital advertising campaigns.
In December 2019, France fined Google with 150 million euros over advertiser suspensions on Google Ads.
Google Ads’ system is based partly on cookies and partly on keywords determined by advertisers. Google uses these characteristics to place advertising copy on pages where they think it might be relevant. Advertisers pay when users divert their browsing to click on the advertising copy. Partner websites receive a portion of the generated income.
The Google Ads program includes local, national, and international distribution. Google’s text advertisements are short, consisting of three headlines with a maximum of 30 characters each, 2 descriptions with a maximum of 90 characters, and a display two URLs of 15 characters each. These are called AdWords expanded text Ads. These mimic what the average search result looks like on Google. Image ads can be one of the several different standardized sizes as designated by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). In May 2016, Google announced its reformatting of ads to help consumers and advertisers succeed in a mobile-first world. The new format, called Expanded Text Ads, allows 23% more text. This new format is available on both the Google Search Network and the Google Display network. It features two headlines with 30 characters each, replacing the standard of a single headline with 30 characters. The display URL has been replaced with two 15 character paths, not including the root domain.