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What Is Google Ads?

Google Ads (previously known as Google AdWords) is an online advertising platform that lets you advertise your products or services across Google’s online properties. Such as its search engine, partner websites, and YouTube.

Here’s what the Google Ads overview dashboard looks like:
Note: When we say “Google Ads,” we’re referring to the advertising platform. When we say “Google ads,” we’re talking about the actual advertisements on Google properties.

You pay a fee for your ads to appear on Google. A process called “bidding” determines the cost.

Think of bidding as an auction where a business decides the maximum amount it’s willing to pay for someone to click on its ads.

But why pay when there are free listings on Google?

These free listings are called organic results. They appear based on their relevance to users’ search queries. And Google uses hundreds of factors to rank them organically.

This is entirely different from how Google decides which ads to display. (We’ll discuss this in the How Does Google Ads Work section below.)