AdWords and PPC: Are They The Same?

March 18, 2024

Book in a free 30 minute strategy session

There’s a weird paradox when it comes to online marketing. One on hand, the vast array of tools available can make the life of business owners quite easy as they only need to push a few buttons to get a list of the best keywords, for example. But, at the same time, the fast pace at which internet marketing is evolving can make it difficult for some to keep up with all the changes and dominate the results page. That’s how confusion and errors appear.

One thing that small business owners tend to get wrong is the difference between PPC advertising and Google AdWords. The logic goes: if it requires you to pay a fee, then it must be the same thing. However, PPC ads and AdWords are two different sides of the online advertisement coin.

So without further ado, let’s get the two straight.


Pay Per Click

PPC (Pay-per-click) is a search engine marketing strategy that enables you to display your ads on various SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) in the paid section so users can easily tell them from organic search. As the name suggests, you pay for each click and not for impressions.

A PPC campaign is an excellent way to increase brand awareness and drive traffic to your website, especially if you are a new business. It’s also a profitable strategy when you have a well-defined target audience looking for the products and services you offer.

There are two measures of a PPC:

  • Cost per Click (CPC) – the amount a company pays every time a user clicks on one of their ads and is redirected to the landing page or website. The price is established based on a bidding process, so you’ll be competing with other similar companies for the ad space.
  • Cost Per Conversion – the amount of money you pay to get the users to complete a certain action, such as signing up for a service or making a purchase.




AdWords is a pay per click service offered by Google. So whereas PPC is the broad term that encompasses an entire marketing method, AdWords is the factual way to put the technique into practice.

Google’s not the only one doing it. Microsoft has Bing Ads, Amazon has Product Ads, Facebook has, of course, Facebook Ads, and the list can go on for a while.

When it comes to ad campaigns, though, Google’s AdWords dominates in the world of PPC, and it’s easy to understand why. It provides advertisers with easy access to the search engine’s market share and partner websites, so the level of exposure is higher than for other similar services.

AdWords relies heavily on targeted keywords. Companies bid for specific relevant keywords and create ads that will appear on the first page of a Google searches. If one or more company target the same keywords, an auction process begins, and those willing to pay the highest price per click win. The problem is that the high level of competition has driven the bid price very high, and not everyone can afford the cost.

However, Google also offers the keyword planner, a service that lets marketers single out valuable keywords that reflect what users type in the search bar regarding a particular subject. With a bit of research, it’s possible to single out some valuable keywords that are not very popular with your competitors.



So, is AdWords different from PPCs? The answer is simple: yes and no.

Let’s put it like this: PPC is a category of marketing services, and AdWords is just another name in the class.

Businesses benefit significantly from a PPC campaign because it can bring more users to their website and possibly create new leads. AdWords seems to be the way to go, though it can sometimes cost a lot to keep a campaign going.

Are you laying out a new PPC or AdWords campaign? Give Australian Internet Advertising a call, and we can help you get great results.

Billy P.

About The Author

William Polson founded Australian Internet Advertising in 2013 and has over 12 years of experience immersed in Digital Marketing.

With an in-depth level of digital marketing knowledge, William has been sort after by and worked for, many large national brands including Subaru, Blooms The Chemist, and Nova 96.9.

Book in a free 30 minute strategy session
Google Reviews Icon