Google Enhances AdWords Program

NEW YORK Google has added new features to its AdWords program, the Web search company said.

The nearly 2-year-old advertising program lets marketers create their own ads and choose keywords to dictate where the ads are displayed on Google and its network of search and content Web sites. Participating advertisers, such as Dow, FordDirect, Boston Chauffeur and, pay only when users click on the ads.

The first addition to the program is a free conversion-tracking tool, which correlates clicks that originate from the AdWords campaigns to conversion rates. Types of conversions tracked include purchases, sign-ups, leads and page views.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based company also has expanded its matching capability, meaning ads will automatically appear in response to highly relevant keyword searches, even if those keywords are not specified by the advertiser. For example, if an advertiser’s keywords are “Honolulu hotels,” their ads now may appear when a user conducts a search for “Honolulu hotel,” “Hawaii hotels” or “Honolulu inns.”

Google said the expanded matching capability would help advertisers determine the best-performing keywords. It also could produce more leads for advertisers, since ads are associated with additional related keywords and may appear more often.

Separately, America Online said last week that it expanded its multiyear alliance with Google. Under the agreement, Google will provide search results to AOL members and users of its other brands, including, Compuserve and Netscape. In addition, Google will continue to offer its targeted paid-search-listings product, which lists advertisers based on relevancy and other factors.