Have you ever been searching for your ad in the Google search engine and discovered that they don’t show up? You created a new campaign, conducted proper keyword research, set the daily budget, and activated your ads. What is more, none of the ads have been rejected, and the campaign started generating impressions. All in all, everything seems to be correct.
The very first question that comes to your mind in such a situation is probably: “If I don’t see it, can anyone see it?” Stop worrying! They do! These kinds of questions come up frequently and we have an answer that might calm you: The fact that you don’t see your Google ads while searching for them doesn’t necessarily mean that other Internet users don’t see them either!
Discover a few reasons why your Google ads might not show up in your own search results.
The very first option that is worth checking just before you start searching for your ads in the Google search engine is the presence of an ad blocker on your computer. Those popular browser extensions (e.g. AdBlock) prevent both search and display ads from showing up on the websites you visit. If it turns out you have an ad blocker installed and activated, little wonder that you can’t see your ads! So, check this first: It is a seemingly small thing but may be crucial.
Limited daily budget
The second reason worth mentioning is the fact that when the set daily budget is too small in relation to the search interest, there is a risk that your ads may not show up for every search, or not be shown at all in order to prevent the exceedance of your budget. Bear in mind that Google tries to evenly allocate the daily budget so that the ads appear throughout the day. In case of smaller sums, only some searches will show the ad. You can learn whether this is the case by looking at a.o. in the column “Status” on the campaign level, entitled “Limited by budget.”
Also, depending on the goal of the campaign, the algorithm decides whether your ad qualifies to be shown within the auction or not. If the goal is to drive the most conversions at the desired cost per action, and you just want to trigger the ad to see if it is shown, the algorithm might not display the ad if it believes that the likelihood of you converting in the auction is low.
Searching for your own ads too much
When you repeatedly write a particular keyword while searching for your ad without clicking on it, Google may categorize you as a user not interested in this particular ad. In consequence, your computer IP will be blocked so the ads will not appear. Remember that the algorithms aim to show ads to those users who are likely to click on them or convert, depending on the chosen bid strategy.
Another – and very common – reason why one does not see their ad is the location targeting set in the campaign. Do not forget that Google offers attractive possibilities when it comes to this setting. You may narrow down your ads to show in a particular country, region, city, or radius. So before you start searching for your own ad, verify whether or not you are in the targeted location. If you want to preview how the ads look in a specific location, you can use the Ad Preview tool available in Google Ads.
Once you make sure that location targeting should not interfere with finding your own ad, another campaign section worth verifying is the audience. What if you don’t belong to the audience groups that you target in your campaign? Check such options as: detailed demographics (age, gender, parental status), interests, life events, search history, and so on. All of these factors define your target audience. There is a chance that the Google algorithm will not put you in that group and thus, will not show the ad.
Another option to check in campaign settings is targeting based on devices. Just as with the location, Google enables us to define the type of devices we would like to display our campaigns on. Here you usually may choose tablets, computers, mobile phones, and TVs (for Display and YouTube campaigns). When searching for your ad, make sure that the device you use has not been excluded from your campaign settings.
This is easy to forget but also crucial! Thanks to the ad schedule option, you may narrow down running your ads to particular days or hours. This enables the intensification of the marketing activities within a period when there is the biggest likelihood of achieving the business objectives. So don’t forget to check your schedule: f your ad is scheduled for Monday to Sunday between 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. and you search for them at 5 p.m., you simply won’t see them.
You may exclude particular IP addresses in the campaign settings in order to avoid generating traffic that does not create value, e.g. from your company’s own network or other business partners. This will prevent your ads from showing to those addresses.
Make sure that your IP address has not been blocked in the campaign. In order to check, go to settings and then to the section “IP exclusions.”
Last but not least, let’s not forget the essence of Google Ads! Namely, the way the ads appear. Every single time the user searches for something in the search engine, Google runs an “auction” in order to decide which ads and in which order will be shown in the search results.
It all starts with the search query. When the prospect writes the search term connected with the keyword that you bid on, your ad may take part in the auction. The key factors that determine where your ad ranks in this search are: bid amount, ad quality, ad rank thresholds, the competitiveness of an auction, search context, and the projected impact of extensions and other ad formats. You may not see your ad because this time it simply hasn’t won the auction.
All in all, the fact that you do not see your ads in search results does not have to mean that your campaign isn’t working! Actually, the reasons for that may be connected with either campaign settings (location, audience, ad schedule, etc.) or limitations that we cannot always circumvent (e.g. competition).
Nevertheless, if you want to check what your ad looks like in search results, you can by using the Ad Preview and Diagnosis Tool available in the Google Ads platform. Once you type a keyword it shows you the preview of the Google search result page and whether your ad is eligible to be shown. If it is not eligible, you will also get information about the issues you should address in order to improve your ad. What is more, thanks to this tool you won’t affect your campaign performance statistics due to unnecessary impressions and clicks.
Where will you find the Ad Preview and Diagnosis Tool? Go to the “Tools & Settings” section. In the column “Planning”, you will find the section “Ad Preview and Diagnosis.”