AdWords, the very system that transformed the once scrappy Google into a 400 billion-dollar giant, marks its 15th anniversary this week.

It has been 15 years since Google officially launched this funky auction system for selling Internet ads after a month-long beta in 2000. Before, it was first launched as a desktop advertising toolwith roughly 350 advertisers.

Now, a decade and a half later, this 60 billion-dollar business serves more than a million advertisers.

To celebrate 15 years of AdWords, here’s a blog post that gives you a look back at the past 15 years of AdWords innovation. From its 1.2-cent impressions to major milestones in Internet history like Jennifer Lopez’s 2000 Grammys dress and “Gangnam Style” going viral, come take a walk with us through memory laneand see how far AdWords has come.

The Early Days of AdWords

Back in 2000when it launched, AdWords only had 350 advertisers. These advertisers paid for impressions at 1.5 cents, 1.2 cents, and a penny to run ads next to keywords. Some of those advertisers are continuously using AdWords to date, including

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After only three years, AdWords expanded to more than 200 countries, offering results in 72 languages. Now, it provides results inover 150 languages—including Klingon!

AdWords continued to grow in the next few years, but in 2010, Google made a major change in the world of online advertising. It introduced YouTube’s TrueView ad format. Gangnam Style by Psy also became the first video to reach more than a billion views in 2012.

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Other Top Searches from 2001

In honor of AdWords’ 15th birthday, here is also an overview of the other popular searches from 2001, the first year the search engine giant launched its annual search review.

Some are spooky.

Top Men:

google trends nostradamus

Some are old world.

Top New Product:

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Remember tennis star Anna Kournikova? She was hot back then.

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As you can see in the figures, we have lost interest over the years. Fortunately for Google, advertisers have not.

Fast Forward to Today

AdWords came outduring the time when desktop reigned. Before, users didover 20 million searchers per day on their desktop computers. Fast forward to today, the search engine manages more than three billion searches every single day—and over half of these searches come from smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices.Google has also seen double growth in “near me” searches.

Advertisers can now also run campaigns on the Google Display Network, AdMob (Google’s mobile app network), andYouTube all through the AdWords interface.

AdWords Led the Change in Online Advertising

In the last 15 years, we have witnessed significant changes in consumer behavior, as well as advances in technology.

Along the way, Google has broughtusers instant and more relevant answers in the moments that matter. It has allowed businesses to thrive in a world where the smartphone has become “the consumer’s best friend,” to provide answers, suggestions, directions, and more. With its self-serve keyword bidding system, AdWords has changed the course of online advertising, and propelled Google the multi-billion dollar business that we know today.

Overall, it’s been incredible to watch AdWords improve and provide greater value to advertisers. Itmay seem like anold-timer in the digital marketing landscape, but it is still evolving. It’s constantly developing, improving, and striving to stay ahead.

At RefractROI, the leading provider of SEO services in Denver and the United States,we are proud of our partnership with Google, and we continue to use their tools to serve the needs of our clients. Not only have we been Google AdWords certified as far back as 2003, we have also been running successful paid search campaigns from the start.

Thanks to Google AdWords, we have provided our clients the best possible integration of search, display, and conversion optimization available in digital marketing.

Call today for a consultation on our paid search services.

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