How Does Google Make Its Money: The 20 Most Expensive Keywords in Google Ads

Google’s success is largely attributed to its advertising platform, Google Ads. With millions of businesses vying for user attention, Google makes a significant portion of its revenue through ad revenue. In this article, we will take a closer look at the 20 most expensive keywords in Google Ads and how they contribute to Google’s profitability.

Key Takeaways:

  • Google’s revenue largely comes from its advertising platform, Google Ads.
  • The 20 most expensive keywords in Google Ads contribute significantly to Google’s financial performance.
  • Keywords play a crucial role in targeting relevant audiences and driving traffic to websites.
  • The cost per click (CPC) model used by Google Ads heavily influences advertisers’ budgets.
  • Industries with high advertising costs on Google Ads include finance, insurance, and law.

Understanding Google’s AdWords Platform

Google’s AdWords platform is one of the most popular tools for advertisers, allowing them to create targeted ads that appear on Google search results pages and websites across the internet. The platform operates on a pay-per-click (PPC) model, meaning advertisers only pay when someone clicks on their ad.

The AdWords platform offers a variety of ad formats, including text, image, and video ads, each with customizable settings to optimize performance. Advertisers select specific keywords relevant to their product or service and bid on them to determine their ad’s placement on a search results page.

AdWords also provides a range of targeting options to ensure ads reach the right audience. Advertisers can select geographic locations, age ranges, gender, interests, and more to refine their targeting.

Once an ad is created and successfully submitted, Google’s algorithms review it to ensure it meets ad quality standards and relates to the chosen keywords. The ad’s relevance and expected clickthrough rate (CTR) play a significant role in how often it appears to users.

In short, the AdWords platform provides advertisers with a powerful means of reaching potential customers across the internet and generating revenue for both Google and the advertisers themselves.

The Significance of Keywords in Google Ads

Google Ads is an advertising platform that targets online audiences through the use of relevant keywords. Keywords play a crucial role in driving traffic to websites and targeting specific audiences. The importance of keywords in Google Ads can be seen in the way advertisers strategize their selection and bidding. By selecting the most appropriate keywords, advertisers can optimize their ad performance and increase their chances of converting clicks into sales.

One way advertisers strategize their keyword bidding is by conducting thorough keyword research to identify which words or phrases are most relevant to their target audience. This process involves analyzing search volume and competition level for each keyword, identifying long-tail keywords, and understanding user intent.

After identifying viable keywords, advertisers must also consider the bidding process. Keywords with higher competition levels tend to have more expensive bids, requiring advertisers to maximize their budgets to remain competitive. Effective bidding strategies include targeting a specific position, setting bid adjustments by device type, and utilizing automated bidding tools.

To understand the significance of keywords in Google Ads, let’s take a look at an example. Suppose a company wants to promote its new line of vegan snacks. By identifying and bidding on relevant keywords such as “vegan snacks,” “plant-based snacks,” and “healthy snacks,” they can target their desired audience and increase website traffic. With an effective ad and a well-targeted audience, the company may see a significant increase in sales and revenue.

Keyword Match Types

Understanding keyword match types is also crucial in utilizing the power of keywords. There are three different match types in Google Ads:

  • Exact match: the keyword must match exactly the search query.
  • Phrase match: the keyword must match the search query in the same order.
  • Broad match: the keyword matches variations of the search query, including synonyms and misspellings.

By utilizing the different match types appropriately, advertisers can increase their ad relevance and target specific audiences more effectively.

Overall, keywords are a crucial and fundamental aspect of Google Ads. They help advertisers target their audience, drive traffic to websites, and increase sales and revenue. Effective keyword strategies involve thorough research and thoughtful bidding to optimize ad performance and budget utilization.

The Cost Per Click (CPC) Model

Google Ads works on a cost per click (CPC) model, where advertisers bid on specific keywords that are relevant to their business. The cost of these keywords depends on the competition level, search volume, ad quality, and ad relevance. Advertisers pay Google only when someone clicks on their ad, hence the name “cost per click.”

The bidding process determines how much an advertiser is willing to pay for each click, and the highest bidder for a given keyword will get their ad placed at the top of the search results page. However, this does not necessarily mean that the highest bidder will always get the most clicks or conversions.

The factors that affect higher CPC rates include intense competition, a high search volume for specific keywords, ad groups with low-quality scores, and low ad relevance. Additionally, ads with low click-through rates may experience higher CPC rates due to low ad relevance.

Example of Cost Per Click (CPC) for Different Industries

IndustryAverage CPC (in USD)
Real Estate2.37

The table above provides an example of the different average costs per click across various industries. As demonstrated, the insurance and legal industries have the highest CPC rates, whereas finance and real estate have much lower rates comparatively. These differences can be attributed to the significant competition, high search volumes, and the importance of capturing high-intent leads in the insurance and legal industries.

Understanding the CPC model and the factors that influence it is crucial for advertisers to create successful Google Ads campaigns and optimize their budgets effectively.

Google’s Most Expensive Keywords

Google Ads auctions off keywords to advertisers, and the cost per click can vary widely depending on the keyword that they bid for. Here, we highlight the 20 most expensive keywords in Google Ads:

KeywordAverage CPCIndustry
Mesothelioma Law Firm$935Legal
Structured Settlements$881Finance
Drug Rehab$687Healthcare
Online Casinos$551Gaming
Personal Injury Lawyer$486Legal
DUI Lawyer$432Legal
Structured Settlements$881Finance
Conference Call$270Business

The industries represented on this list include legal, finance, healthcare, gaming, insurance, non-profit, business, education, and technology. The competitiveness of keywords in these industries highlights the importance of effective keyword research and bidding strategy for advertisers looking to make the most of their Google Ads campaigns.

Industries with High Advertising Costs

Google Ads is a popular platform for digital advertising, with thousands of businesses vying for the attention of online audiences. However, some industries tend to have higher advertising costs than others due to their unique characteristics and competitive landscape. Here are some of the top industries that tend to have high advertising costs on Google Ads:

IndustryFactors Contributing to High Advertising Costs
FinanceHigh competition for keywords related to loans, credit cards, and other financial products; high search volume for financial services
HealthcareRegulatory requirements for advertising healthcare products and services; high competition for keywords related to medical treatments, procedures, and drugs
Legal ServicesHigh competition for keywords related to legal services, such as personal injury, criminal defense, and family law; high cost per click rates for legal keywords
Real EstateHigh competition for keywords related to buying and selling homes, rentals, and real estate agents; high search volume for real estate-related queries
TechnologyHigh competition for keywords related to software, hardware, and other technology products; high search volume for tech-related queries

These industries have unique challenges and opportunities when it comes to advertising on Google Ads. Advertisers must be strategic in their keyword selection and bidding to optimize their ad performance and minimize their advertising costs.

Next, we’ll explore the factors that affect keyword costs on Google Ads and their impact on advertisers’ budgets.

Factors Affecting Keyword Costs

Multiple factors influence the cost of keywords on Google Ads. One of the most important factors is the competition level. Advertisers bidding for highly competitive keywords like “insurance” or “loans” are likely to incur higher costs per click compared to less competitive keywords. Additionally, search volume plays a role in determining keyword costs. Popular keywords with high search volume often have higher costs per click.

Another important factor is ad quality. Google rewards advertisers who create relevant, high-quality ads that engage and convert audiences. Ad relevance, landing page experience, and expected click-through rate all contribute to ad quality, which in turn impacts keyword costs.

Ad format can also affect the cost. Some ad formats, such as video ads, may be more expensive than others due to their higher production costs and greater impact potential. Furthermore, industry and location can significantly influence keyword costs. For example, keywords in highly-regulated industries like healthcare or finance may be more expensive due to stricter advertising policies and higher competition levels.

A thorough understanding of the factors that affect keyword costs is essential for effective Google Ads budget management. By targeting keywords with lower competition and search volume, creating high-quality ads, and leveraging ad format strategically, advertisers can optimize their campaigns for better results at a lower cost.

Impact on Google’s Revenue

The cost of keywords directly impacts Google’s revenue. By bidding on the most expensive keywords, advertisers contribute significantly to Google’s overall financial performance and profitability. In fact, the top 20 costliest AdWords keywords alone make up a substantial proportion of Google’s advertising revenue, demonstrating the importance of these keywords.

For example, the keyword “insurance” has an average cost per click (CPC) of $54.91, meaning that for every click an advertiser receives, they would pay close to $55. As a popular industry with significant search volume, insurance keywords generate enormous revenue for Google. Similarly, keywords like “attorney” and “loan” also have high CPC rates, driving up Google’s earnings.

Furthermore, as businesses continue to compete for ad space and keywords become more expensive, Google’s revenue from advertising is likely to increase even further. This emphasizes the need for advertisers to have effective strategies in place for optimizing their ad performance and minimizing their costs.

Strategies for Optimizing Ad Performance

Advertising on Google Ads can be costly, but it is essential to invest in effective strategies for optimizing ad performance to achieve better results while minimizing costs. Here are some tips to improve your ad performance:

Keyword Selection

Choose high-quality, relevant keywords that match your target audience search intent. Use keyword analytics tools to identify the keywords with a high search volume and low competition.

Ad Targeting

Target your ads to the relevant audience by selecting the right demographics, location, device, and interests. Create tailored ads with personalized content that appeals to your target audience.

Bid Management

Set a reasonable maximum bid for your keywords, based on your budget and the value of the specific keyword to your business. Adjust your bids regularly to stay competitive in the market.

Ad Quality Improvement

Create high-quality ads that align with your target audience interests and needs. Use eye-catching visuals, clear and concise messages, and relevant call-to-action (CTA) phrases to encourage clicks and increase your ad’s quality score.

By implementing these best practices, you can optimize your ad performance on Google Ads, increase your ROI, and boost your business growth.

Future Trends in Google Ads Revenue

As the digital advertising landscape evolves, predicting future trends in Google Ads revenue becomes critical for advertisers and industry observers alike. Emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning are transforming the way advertisers strategize and optimize their campaigns, presenting new opportunities for revenue growth and cost reduction.

Furthermore, changes in consumer behavior and preferences are driving shifts in advertising strategies, with a growing emphasis on personalization, customer experience, and multi-channel marketing. This trend is likely to impact the cost of keywords and the overall revenue that Google generates from advertising.

One significant trend to watch is the rise of voice search and smart speakers, which are changing the way people search for information and make purchasing decisions. The shift towards voice search is likely to affect keyword selection and bidding strategies, creating new challenges and opportunities for advertisers to stay ahead of the curve.

Another trend to keep an eye on is the growing importance of data privacy and security, which could impact the way advertisers collect and use consumer data for targeting and personalization. This trend may lead to the development of new advertising models that prioritize user privacy, while still allowing for effective targeting and ad delivery.

In conclusion, keeping up with future trends in Google Ads revenue is critical for advertisers looking to stay ahead of the competition and optimize their ad campaigns for maximum ROI. By staying informed and adapting to new technologies and consumer behaviors, advertisers can continue to unlock new opportunities for growth and profitability.


Google’s ad revenue model is heavily reliant on expensive keywords, and advertisers must carefully strategize their bidding and targeting techniques to optimize their ad performance while minimizing costs. Factors such as competition level, search volume, ad quality, and relevance can influence keyword costs, and industries like healthcare and legal tend to have high advertising costs on Google Ads.

However, with effective strategies and best practices for ad optimization, advertisers can achieve better results and increase their ad relevance, ultimately contributing to Google’s revenue growth. As technology continues to evolve and consumer behavior changes, future trends in Google Ads revenue remain uncertain. Nonetheless, advertisers can maximize their potential by staying up to date with emerging technologies and adapting their advertising strategies accordingly.

In conclusion, the use of expensive keywords in Google Ads remains a fundamental component of Google’s revenue, and advertisers can benefit from adopting effective strategies for optimizing their ad performance. By doing so, they can navigate the increasingly competitive landscape of digital advertising and continue to drive revenue growth for Google.


How does Google make its money?

Google generates the majority of its revenue through its advertising platform, Google Ads. Advertisers bid on keywords to display their ads on search result pages and across the Google network. When users click on these ads, Google earns money through the pay-per-click model.

What are the 20 most expensive keywords in Google Ads?

The 20 most expensive keywords in Google Ads include “insurance,” “loans,” “mortgage,” “attorney,” “credit,” and “lawyer.” These keywords are highly competitive and attract a significant number of advertisers, leading to high bidding prices.

How does Google’s AdWords platform work?

Google’s AdWords platform allows advertisers to create and display ads on Google’s search network and partner websites. Advertisers bid on keywords related to their products or services. When users search for these keywords, the ads are shown, and advertisers pay only when users click on their ads.

What is the significance of keywords in Google Ads?

Keywords play a crucial role in Google Ads as they determine which ads are displayed to users. By selecting relevant keywords, advertisers can target specific audiences and increase the likelihood of attracting potential customers to their websites, thus driving traffic and conversions.

How does the cost per click (CPC) model impact advertisers’ budgets?

The cost per click (CPC) model used by Google Ads means that advertisers pay for each click on their ads. The bidding process for keywords influences the cost, and advertisers set their maximum CPC bids. A higher CPC rate can affect the overall budget allocated to advertising campaigns.

What are Google’s most expensive keywords?

Google’s most expensive keywords include those related to the insurance, legal, and financial industries. Examples of expensive keywords are “car insurance,” “personal injury lawyer,” and “mortgage rates.” Such keywords have high competition, driving up their costs.

Which industries tend to have high advertising costs on Google Ads?

Industries such as insurance, finance, law, and healthcare tend to have high advertising costs on Google Ads. This is due to the competitive nature of these industries and the high value they place on acquiring new customers through digital advertising.

What factors can affect the cost of keywords in Google Ads?

Several factors can impact the cost of keywords in Google Ads, including competition level, search volume, ad quality, and ad relevance. The more competitive a keyword is, the higher its cost. Keywords with higher search volume or keywords that align better with the ad quality and relevance criteria may also have higher costs.

How do expensive keywords contribute to Google’s revenue?

Expensive keywords significantly contribute to Google’s revenue as advertisers are willing to pay high prices to target specific audiences and gain exposure for their products or services. The competitiveness of these keywords drives up bidding prices, resulting in increased revenue for Google.

What strategies can advertisers use to optimize their ad performance?

Advertisers can optimize their ad performance on Google Ads by carefully selecting relevant keywords, using ad targeting options to reach specific audiences, managing bids effectively, and continuously improving ad quality. These strategies can help advertisers achieve better results and maximize returns on their advertising investments.

What are the future trends in Google Ads revenue?

Future trends in Google Ads revenue are influenced by emerging technologies (such as voice search and artificial intelligence), evolving consumer behaviors, and shifts in advertising strategies. These factors may impact keyword costs and Google’s revenue, making it essential for advertisers to stay abreast of the changing digital landscape.

In conclusion, what are the key takeaways from this article?

The key takeaways from this article are that Google generates a significant portion of its revenue through Google Ads, and the top 20 most expensive keywords play a crucial role in driving this revenue. Advertisers must strategically select keywords, optimize ad performance, and adapt to evolving trends to succeed in the competitive world of Google Ads.

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