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AdWords, Google's Search Cash Cow, Is 15 Years Old. Here Are Seven Things It Says We Used to Care About.

We stopped caring about Anna Kournikova before we stopped caring about Internet Explorer.

Michael Kienzler / Getty Images

AdWords, a funky auction system for selling Internet ads that transformed a scrappy search engine called Google into a $400 billion-plus behemoth, is 15 years old. Happy birthday, AdWords! Many people in Silicon Valley are grateful that you exist.

To celebrate, Google put out a cutesy infographic on some of the milestones of search ads. Back in 2000, only 350 advertisers were signed up with AdWords when it launched, paying prices at 1.5 cents, 1.2 cents and one shiny penny per impression to run ads next to keywords. (Technically, the 15th anniversary was last week, but the little Alphabet company was preoccupied.) The post unfurling Google’s first-ever revenue product is filled with gems. Like the touting of its credentials — “Best Search Engine on the Internet from Yahoo! Internet Life.” Nostalgia!

In honor of the Internet giant, Re/code decided to look back on the most popular searches from 2001, the first year Google publicized its annual search review. Some are spooky (we were enamored with Nostradamus) or quaint (Windows XP, Gamecube, Nokia 5510) or embarrassing (Backstreet Boys, Linkin Park). Remember Anna Kournikova? She was red hot back then (and even more so when Re/code’s own Peter Kafka chimed in).

With the tennis star and many obsessions, as you can see below, we lost interest over the years.

Thankfully for Google, advertisers have not.

Nostradamus (Top Men)

Britney Spears (Top Women)

Nokia (Top Brand)

Windows XP (Top New Product)

Anna Kournikova (Top Sports Queries)

Napster (Top MP3 Service — Morpheus was No. 1)

Internet Explorer (No. 6 New Product)

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