Google AdWords is an advertising service that may be an effective choice in some circumstances. However, in many situations, it will be money wasted and the company using the service will actually end up worse of than had they not used the service at all.
The AdWords services will present one or a few ads at the top of Google search results. If you’ve been unable to naturally (“organically”) reach the top of search results, AdWords may be a short-term solution. However, it’s an expensive alternative to having a well designed website with rich and abundant quality content. With AdWords, one becomes reliant upon paid traffic instead of getting a natural flow of visitors to their website.
The way AdWords works is that you pay for having positioning at the top of search results for specific searches.
The most cleverly and effectively crafted AdWords campaign will be based upon an exceptional knowledge of what people might be searching for, and for that search, paying to be at the top of the page. However, a website properly designed can produce similar results.
Below is an example of how AdWords can work and also fail for certain advertising campaigns. In this example, some people have paid to have an ad placed at the top of the page when a search is conducted for “iowa city web design” (without quotes). One of the businesses that paid for AdWords is naturally in the #4 position anyway, so they have paid money for nothing. In addition, for advertising fees based on clicks, the business will actually pay for visitors coming to their site rather than getting free visits to the site. The #2 position was attained without any advertising.