Google Adwords Comes Full Circle: Starts in a Dorm Room, Now In the Classroom

19 03 2009

A little history: Starting officially in 1994 on Hotwired.com, online advertising has taken various shapes and avenues to capture potential customer, many of these went bust after the 2001 dot-com bubble burst. In 2000, Google unveiled their advertising platform, Google Adwords, coining the phrase search engine marketing(SEM) and changing the landscape of online advertising forever, or at least until something better comes along. However, the success of Adwords is dependant on the success of the search engine that supports it. Lucky for Adwords, Google keeps their famed search algorithms close to their chest that has afforded them 63.1% of search engine market share.

In 2007, when TIME shifted 20% of their advertising budget to digital, it was clear Web 2.0 had arrived. Enter Adwords into the Media Mix. SEM’s induction into the mix had a trickle-down effect in the industry: SEO, SEM, organic search, CPC, page rank all become buzzwords that were e-mailed, blogged and oh yes, searched for. Eventually SEM reached higher learning, and now students like myself are studying for their Interactive Advertising Management exams.

Another example of Adwords’ notability, Google hosts an international Online Marketing Challenge, in which students compete to create an effective digital campaign for a local business with a budget of US$200. Last year had over 1600 student teams and a team from the University of Western Australia won. Until now, Adwords had just been one of those buzzwords I only had a Cliffs Notes understanding of, now I’ll be able to sink my teeth into it and try to boost ING Magazine’s traffic, our chosen local business, a student-run monthly magazine at Michigan State University.

Here are some predictions:

-Typical group dynamic frustrations

-The Publisher of the magazine, Adam Grant, vicariously becomes our 5th group member

-A combined 8 pots of coffee are drank whilst working on the campaign

-Our campaign finishes in the Top-1o0, a lofty goal indeed, but that’s why they’re goals

-Our group enters the campaign SEM noobs and walks away SEM rock stars.

After the campaign gets rolling, more updates will follow. Wish us luck!

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