I suggest Adwords as what I would call a "highly-targeted crutch". It allows the flexibility and keyword targeting that, quite often, does not occur via your site or Places' organic efforts. Getting to a point where your web traffic is 100% organic, therefore eliminating the need for Adword campaigns should be everyone's goal, it's just not always a reality. I do recommend that everyone try Adwords, at least to see if it's right for them, or if it converts as they'd like. It's easy to track down a $100 Adword trial credit, so there's really no reason not to see if it has a place in your marketing mix. Keep in mind that it does require a web site on your end and that work and split-testing should be done to craft the ad messages. With that said re: Adwords, I do not, however, recommend Adwords Express. If there's a singular benefit, it's that it does not require a web site. Express is one where I'll agree with Adam and view it akin to a money-devouring sinkhole. In fact, in that respect, it's almost just like owning a boat. It has nowhere near the configurability of standard Adwords and, as a bonus, only allows for the expensive, shotgun approach of Broad Match-only keywords. All of the Express conveniences Google touts comes with the privilege that you're going to pay more than you would via the standard Adwords campaigns.