25 Fast Facts About AdWords

  1. Google was launched in 2000, with pricing based on a flat CPM (cost per impression model). It was relaunched under an auction model in 2002. (Search Engine History)
  2. An 18-year-old college dropout named Scott Banister is credited with the brilliant, multi-billion-dollar idea of pay-for-placement search listings, an idea later brought to fruition by Bill Gross at IdeaLab. (TechCrunch)
  3. About 97% of Google’s total revenues come from advertising. (Google Investor Relations)
  4. Businesses make an average of $2 in revenue for every $1 they spend on AdWords. (Google Economic Impact Report)
  5. As of Spring 2011, Google had over 1.2 million businesses advertising on its search network. (AdGooRoo via Perry Marshall)
  6. The average click-through rate for an ad in the first position is 7.94%. (AccuraCast)
  7. Ads in the top position have been observed to get 10 times as many clicks as side-position ads. (Practical Ecommerce)
  8. In Q2 of 2012, Google’s revenues rose 35% to $12.21 billion. In the same quarter, aggregate paid clicks went up by 42%. (Business Insider)
  9. Google dominates mobile search advertising, taking 97% of mobile search spend. (Search Engine Land)
  10. In 2011, Google search and advertising tools generated $80 billion in economic activity across the U.S. (Google Economic Impact Report)
  11. The finance and insurance industry spent $4 billion on AdWords in 2011. (Search Engine Watch)
  12. Finance and insurance related keywords are among the most expensive in AdWords, with some demanding costs per click (CPCs) over $50. (The 20 Most Expensive Keywords in AdWords)
  13. Amazon spent an estimated $55.2 million on AdWords advertising in 2011. (Breaking Down Google’s 2011 Revenues)
  14. 89% of the traffic generated by search ads is not replaced by organic clicks when ads are paused. (Google Research)
  15. For high commercial intent search queries, the top three ad spots take about 40% of the clicks on the page. (The War on Free Clicks)
  16. If there is no right-hand column, almost half of people (45.5%) can’t tell the difference between organic and paid search results. (SEO Book)
  17. AdWords advertisers can now target by Congressional District. (Google Politics)
  18. Google owns the world’s largest online display advertising network, with properties including YouTube, Gmail, and Blogger. (comScore)
  19. The Google Display Network serves 180 billion impressions each month (about 6 billion a day!). (comScore)
  20. Google display campaigns reach 80% of global internet users. (Google Benchmarks and Insights)
  21. According to Google, “99% of our top 1,000 clients are now running campaigns on the Google Display Network and YouTube.” (Google Benchmarks and Insights)
  22. The average click-through rate of an ad on the Google Display Network is 0.4% -- four times as high as the average banner ad in the US and almost ten times as high as a Facebook ad. (Facebook vs. Google Display Network)
  23. Consumers exposed to display ads are, on average, 155% more likely to search for brand- and segment-specific terms. (Specific Media)
  24. Yankee Candle Company reports that remarketing allowed it to increase conversion rates by 600% while cutting cost per conversion in half. (AdWords Blog)
  25. According to Google, campaigns that use the Conversion Optimizer achieve a 21% increase in conversions while decreasing CPA by 14% on average. (Google Conversion Optimizer)

For more Google facts, check out our list of 26 things you probably didn't know about Google and our history of AdWords! See also our list of Facebook facts you didn't know.

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Ed Kish
Aug 14, 2012

Nice fast facts! I never knew AdWords is this old already. Ed

Richard Kraneis
Aug 15, 2012

Elisa,As always, I learn something from WordStream.#10 and the Google Economic Impact Report was worth a download.Now that I am selling The World's Shortest Excel Book again on the Internet, I was disappointed to find that what I sold in 2004 now cannot be advertised profitably on Google.  In 2004 all my clicks were below 20 cents and now those same clicks will be over $1.50 and beyond.  My ebook on learning Excel is no longer profitable with my small business model.But reading the success stories in the Google Economic Impact Report was educational.  (I wish they listed failures and how customers corrected those failures.)If The World's Shortest Excel Book will succeed via Google AdWords, I need to offer a more diverse array of services (training, VBA) and not just one ebook.Thanks for the article.  If people are willing to take calculated, measured, and iterative risks with Google AdWords, they may be rewarded.  And reading WordStream every day can only help in the process.Richard Kraneis   

Aug 15, 2012

So informative facts regarding Adwords.I think if Bing will serously compete then there would be a twist in the search and online advertising trend...:)

Aug 15, 2012

Very interesting article that you’ve posted. Found the views to be quite informative and intriguing. Thanks for sharing. 

Jason C
Aug 16, 2012

This is really neet!! I didn't know most of this about Google. It's kind of cool to see how ideas like this started at one point. Thanks

Raymond Smit
Aug 22, 2012

Amazing facts Elisa. Did you get all your stats from one source or did you research each one independently?I've read somewhere (if I remember correctly) that 20% of all search traffic goes to pay per click. And that 20% gets divided between 11 advertisers all battling it out on the first page :).Think good ad copy and back end marketing will become more and more important as CPC gets higher and higher.

Elisa Gabbert
Aug 22, 2012

The sources appear as a link after each fact. Thanks for reading!

Dinesh Thakur
Aug 23, 2012

Hello Elisa,Thanks for sharing all these facts and writing a post on all these facts, As all of these facts are mentioned in differnt resourses.  I like the all the facts you mentioed about display network .  

Reagen Aguda
Aug 23, 2012

Awesome refresher there Elisa! I thought i knew adwords better...Thanks for that stats! Guess i'm going to update my slides and make my presentation simpler but juicier. Hope to get more clients with these facts! 

Dec 24, 2012

Thank you ElisaThis is  a very interesting and informative post shared by you.I like the point where you mentioned about Google revenue and about the specific media. I also like the point saying about the most expensive keywords are finance and insurance. Amazing facts you have put up.   

Spanish Fly
Jan 03, 2013

I have never tried Google adwords although seriously thought about using them. Why i have hesitated is due to business associates have been informing me its quite a learning curve to get the right keywords as you could lose your shirt with more expenses going out than coming in from sales. Does anyone here have any positive thoughts on this?

Unleaded Group
Jan 03, 2013

Great info to share with clients who are considering AdWords but have been afraid that they will be wasting money.   Nice post!

Joshua Davis
Jan 03, 2013

I found it interesting that if there is no right hand column 45.5% of people can't tell the difference between organic and paid search results. Is there a reason ads don't appear in a right hand column for some searches? And if so, is there a way to find these searches to capitalize on the available ad space? 

Elisa Gabbert
Jan 03, 2013

It's because some queries are clearly navigational or informational (not transactional) and therefore difficult to monetize. You can read more about that here: http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2012/12/10/three-types-of-search-queriesThanks for commenting!

Jan 05, 2013

"88% of online search dollars are spent on paid results, even though 85% of searchers click on organic results." Vanessa Fox, Google’s former search engine strategy spokesperson.

Jan 06, 2013

Hello Elisa!Interesting post but Adwords does not give as much as your writing business as (Google Economic Impact Report) The reality is different and that over 40% of global companies who have spent three months doing promotional campaign ROI not overcome this is because the user is influenced more by Global organic result and forget the more than 50% of the global usurios Adwords Sponsored Links pass by, not interested.This is by now you populi years.The degree certificate SEO Adwords is all you are looking for high money, the slogan of all global SEO is: You want your company to be the first with Google Adwords!! and they get after passing first through a study of SEO and SEM company to be first must overcome a bid, the highest paid for a U.S. company was $ 100 U.S. per click for a three-month campaign, your product and discounted price was U.S. $ 1,499 prepaid coupon next purchase more candy for the future buyer.I know a friend who work for this company have the product to sell 50,000 pieces totaling U.S. $ 74,950,000, happy and happy the SEO company to outdo the other in the end pay per click campaign to sell only 2500 pieces but having to pay Google $ 50000000 U.S. to think the company just say one thing more never use Adwords for the bad experience and promises of SEO and SEM.With Google's organic system and my methods of online advertising strategy and psychology of the keywords without using Adwords including many of my clients is $ 100 U.S. per click, sell more and become profitable investment.Google earns 98% a year from advertising, by using bait to SEO and SEM to have diploma or certificate Adwords.Google is a monopoly like many other companies in various countries globally in every country have relatives of political rule in the country of origin, then tried to make Presidents and CEO of their delegations, branches, and anyone.Best RegardsJoe

May 13, 2013

Thanks for useful information. I research that the Googole adwords keyword cost rapid increasing each year that will make small business facing tough investment in adwords.I hope Bing and Yahoo will be increase sahre market that will be stop Google adword increasing keywords cost each years. 

Colin Bhimsen
Aug 23, 2013

There are some superb tips on this page.  When it comes to Google Adwords much is known, however, much is very unknown with respect to optimization and achieving lower CPC's.  Great job on the specifics....

William Matar
Oct 18, 2014

I love this article. Clever. I still use Google Adwords and very satisifed. Blessing.

Sandeep G
Aug 13, 2017

Some great insights and stats on Google Adwords. Bookmarked it. Looking forward for most such posts.

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