The Origins of Google AdWords

In 1996, a small company was formed that would forever change the world of Internet marketing. This company was called Idealab. It took two years of hard work and creative ideas before Bill Gross’s company would launch GoTo.com with a simple business model: Advertisers could choose to display their ads based on what a searcher was trying to find. A searcher would type a query into the search box (Figure 1-1), and if advertisers chose to advertise on that word, their ad would show in the search results. There were four simple concepts that made this business model revolutionary.

Figure 1-1: GoTo.com’s search page, circa 1998

The first was relevance, a word later adopted by Google throughout their AdWords program. ...

Get Advanced Google AdWords™ now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.