I love being able to have such control over search results while also letting people know that I've paid to be in that spot (I love honesty and transparency from my search engine). Google AdWords is a great solution for lots of other reasons. For those who have a content management system that gives limited control, Google AdWords helps give back some of it back. For businesses who have just started and their presence on the web is new, it's great to fill in the gaps while the site gains tractions. It's great for spreading the word about a specific product that Google might not pick up on right away, or people may not know to search for even if they do need or want it.
Anther reason I love Google AdWords - it's a puzzle. I don’t think they intended it to be but setting up a campaign to do what you want and give you the results you're expecting is a challenge that I can't get enough of. When we first started offering Google AdWords to our clients, I was overwhelmed by the task. The little notes they gave me about each adword - "your landing page score is not high enough" - was confusing and frustrating. But here's the thing, Google Adwords is this amazingly trackable beast. So it's really easy for our clients to see if their AdWords are performing or if they need to be tweeked. And it's our job to make it work... our fault if it doesn't. Which leads me to another reason I love Google AdWords, clients get to see the results - clearly and honestly.
It's strategic. You don't have to be everywhere to have an ad online. It's easy to think that because the web is world wide - that you have to be too (and so does your budget) when in actuality, very specific geographical areas can be targeted. So the ad dollars can be focused and not spread thin across the whole world. When you think about it that way - that the competition isn't everybody, everywhere - it doesn't seem so daunting.
Google AdWords is fun, but probably only for weirdos like me. They're also time consuming - even for weirdos like me. So the best advise I can give is either let someone take the worry off your hands or get to be best buds with Google AdWords call center.