In late 2000, Google’s self-service digital advertising platform—AdWords—was officially unveiled to the public after a month-long beta consisting of around 350 advertisers. Back then, Google AdWords enabled online marketers to purchase text ads (and text ads only) to the right of organic search results (Google’s first advertising product, Premium Sponsored Listings, owned the real estate on top of results, but was later phased-out).
Today, as Google AdWords celebrates 15 years in existence, the self-serve platform has become the gold standard in online ad buying. In addition to paid search on desktop, advertisers can bid on impressions in YouTube, the massive Google Display Network, and on mobile browsers & in-app.
The cornerstone of Alphabet‘s revenue, advertising accounted for over $16B in revenue in Q3 of 2015; half of all digital marketing spend in the US goes to paid search, and Google commands a 64% SOV on desktop & 90% SOV on mobile. Even Yahoo is once again interested in partnering with the search giant, in a deal announced just this month.
As part of the 15th anniversary celebration, Google put together the below infographic, highlighting some key milestones in the history of AdWords (click on infographic to expand).