Search engine, Google,
thinks it has a neat way to turn a little profit by encouraging more users to advertise on its site.

Google's AdWords or cost-per-click scheme, launched today, hopes to attract more ads by only charging advertisers when a potential client clicks on their link.

On every search performed a list of sponsored sites, which match the search, will appear down the right-hand side of the screen. These are already displayed, but currently advertisers have to pay to appear whether their sites are accessed or not.

"The AdWords programme allows advertisers to keep costs down by paying directly for the hits they receive, rather than simply paying to appear," said a spokesman at Google.

The cost-per-click scheme will allow advertisers to pay as little as £5 to appear on the search engine. They then pay an agreed amount each time they receive a hit.

In the past Google hasn't readily canvassed for customers and, unlike other search engines, hasn't floated on the stock market. But it is still one of the few search engines which claims to be operating at a profit.

Until now, Google has made its money through selling search systems to companies who use them to index and search their internal networks and advertising.

The engine performs around 150 million searches per day and the company hopes that by opening up the site to smaller advertisers it will see profits soar.