How old is Adwords, when was it launched and what has changed since?

You may not have known but Google recently turned 15 in October 2015. Adwords was launched in October 2000, supporting a total of 350 advertisers when it first launched. Today that number is over 1 million advertisers (crazy I know) generating around $65B in yearly revenue.

Obviously things have changed drastically since then so lets take a quick look at some of the key factors that have shifted how we use search over the past 15 years since AdWords was first was launched.

Global Expansion

In 2003 Google AdWords expanded globally to target a world wide audience and tailor to international advertisers. This coincides with Google being available in 72 languages by 2002 (today its closer to 150 languages).

Display Network

Along with global expansion, 2003 saw the introduction of site-targeted advertising, more commonly known know as the Google Display Network.


In 2006 Google purchases Youtube which then leads to the introduction of Video Advertising to the Display network. Further Advancements in the ad inventory led to TrueView ads that connected brands with a fully engaged audience.

To give you an idea of the growth in Youtube, in 2008 there was 15hours of video being uploaded to Youtube every minute. Today that number is 400 hours uploaded every minute.

Youtube now reached more elusive 18-34yr olds than any other cable network in the US today.


Mobile has changed the game completely. Recent introductions to AdWords products focus heavily around mobile including Call Only campaigns, mobile preference ads and improved mobile experience for searches.

Mobile now equates to over 50% of worldwide Google searches. There is 2x growth year-on-year for people searching for places with a ‘near me’ attached to it. 82% of people with a smartphone will do a search while in a store to check on reviews for a particular product.

Mobile has changes the landscape considerably over the last 5 years and those changes will shape the way the search engine adapts and grows with consumer behaviour.

For a cool infographic, Google recently did one as it looks down memory lane where it goes through this data. Check it out here.