HomeBlogHappy Birthday AdWords! Celebrating 15 Years of PPC Success with Google

Happy Birthday AdWords! Celebrating 15 Years of PPC Success with Google

Author: Larry Kim
Last Updated: March 23, 2022 | Paid Search Marketing


Happy Birthday AdWords! Celebrating 15 Years of PPC Success with Google

April 9, 2018
Paid Search Marketing


Today, Google AdWords turns 15 years old! It’s amazing to me to see how far AdWords has come during the past 15 years.


AdWords 15th Birthday infographic

I was among the first 350 advertisers that started using the AdWords platform back in 2000 (seems so long ago now). One of my personal favorite claims to fame is that I was the very first AdWords advertiser to buy more than $1 million worth of ads! Aside from bragging rights, I got to know then-CEO Eric Schmidt and Sergey Brin at a private lunch. Sergey wore sneakers with his suit (a look that not everybody can pull off), and Eric was charming and a great host. I also received a personal tour of Google’s data center! It was amazing, even then, and AdWords has gone from strength to strength since its relatively humble beginnings.

In honor of AdWords’ 15th birthday, Google has released a special infographic charting AdWords’ many milestones and achievements. On behalf of everyone here at WordStream, happy birthday, AdWords! Here’s to the next 15 years of paid search success!

Google Ads Birthday


Back when AdWords first launched in 2000, there were just 350 advertisers using the platform! Today, there are more than 1 million. Some advertisers have been loyal AdWords advertisers from the very beginning (myself included), such as DiscountMugs.com, which has been continuously using AdWords for the past 15 years. Amazing!

2002 / 2003

After just three years, AdWords expanded to 218 countries around the world. In 2002, Google Search was available in 72 languages, which is impressive even by today’s standards, but now, Search offers results in more than 150 languages – including Klingon!

2008 – 2012

AdWords continued to grow for the next seven years, but in 2010, Google shook up the world of online advertising by introducing YouTube’s TrueView ad format. In 2008, approximately 15 hours of video were uploaded to YouTube every minute. Today, more than 400 hours(!) of video are uploaded every single minute. Also, Psy’s Gangnam Style became the first video to reach more than 1 billion views back in 2012.


By 2015, the world has officially gone mobile – and AdWords came right along with us. Over 50% of Google searches are now conducted on mobile devices, and Google has seen 2X growth in the volume of “near me” searches, highlighting the power of local search, and 82% of consumers use their mobile device when shopping in stores to help them make purchasing decisions.

Of course, there have been a whole bunch of developments over the years that didn’t make it into the infographic, like ad extensions and Shopping Campaigns, as well as a ton of behind-the-scenes stuff that might not be as sexy as new ad formats, but helps us work more efficiently and see a greater return on our investment, like improvements to attribution modeling.

Overall, it’s been incredible to watch AdWords improve and offer greater value to advertisers during the past 15 years, and I can’t wait to see what Google has in store!


Join 683,369 other marketers that receive our weekly newsletter!

Meet The Author

Larry Kim

Larry Kim is the founder of WordStream and CEO of MobileMonkey, a chatbot building platform.

google ads grader ad