Pop up ads are advertisements for online services and "pop-up" when a website is opened. They tend to annoy users when they pop up regardless of what the user searches for on the web.
However, Mckend says AdWords works because the ads are highly optimised to what people are looking for at that moment in time.
Some of these ads flash, blink, vibrate, and hover around your browser window (even if you have a pop-up blocker).
We always try to match an ad to the intent of the user as far as humanly possible. That's what really makes AdWords work.— Luke McKend, Google South Africa Country Director
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This article first appeared on 702 : The science of Google AdWords