Ten years of online advertising with Google Adwords

With the formidable arsenal of products that Google presents to the world, from maps and photos to mobile software and video-sharing, it is easy to forget that this is an empire built on a deceptively simple advertising model – one shackled to the extraordinary and unrelenting rise of the web and web search.By far the most significant of its advertising products is Google AdWords, which turned 10 years old on Saturday. Nearly 97% – $22.889bn – of Google’s 2009 revenues were generated by advertising, and the majority of that through AdWords – the sponsored listings that appear next to search results. Would it be fair, then, to call Google an advertising company?

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