- Instead of selling mass-market ad banners that were boring and slowed pages, it created AdWords. These small text ads were targeted to the search each user was making, and could be as useful as the search results. Instead of reaching thousands of people who were not interested, AdWords reached the handful who were.
- Unlike the earlier Internet advertising efforts, we didn't just show any ad along with the search. We ... take a search term and figure out which ads were most likely to be relevant. Whereas people tend to ignore untargeted ads, we found that people actually like these ads because they provide additional, relevant information ... That's really the secret of why the model has worked so well for us. We found a way to make advertising useful, not annoying.
See also my earlier posts, "Behavioral targeted advertising" and "Bringing sense to web advertising".