I’m struggling to see my ads on Google – what’s going on?
It’s very tempting to test out your own ad visibility on Google, particularly if you have some big competitors out there. However, when searching for yourself you will not get a very accurate view of what other users are seeing – nor will you get any reasons why this is happening. To help you, we’ve provided a list of top reasons why this can happen and also provided ways you can test this is working with more clear answers:
- Budget – if you have a restricted daily budget then this means that ads can run out before the day is over
- Targeting exclusions – as part of attaining your goals/objectives, we will sometimes exclude certain locations/demographics/times of the day/devices from your targeting options based on historical performance. These will vary per campaign
- Bid adjustments – similar to exclusions, we sometimes bid down on certain locations/demographics/times of day/devices, where we see that the data proves there are no conversions
- Google algorithm – if you are using google.co.uk or google.com to test your ads then there is a chance Google will stop serving your ads to you if you constantly see your ads but don’t click on them. Google thinks you are not interested in these ads because you are not interacting with them. NOTE: testing on live Google domains is heavily discouraged as it will inflate your statistics and reduce the CTR (click through rate) of your ads
- Your search results are not an accurate representation of the thousands of daily searches that occur for other people. What you see will be completely different from someone else, and even different to what you might see if you were to search one second later. The Google algorithm recalculates your ad position and configuration for every single search based on a multitude of factors that it does not fully disclose
So how can I get a more accurate idea of what’s happening?
- AdWords reports impression/click data in near real-time, so check your AdWords account and find the relevant campaign/ad group/keyword that you’re interested in and see if there are impressions. If there are impressions then your ads are definitely showing.
- Use the Ad Preview Tool – if you would like to test throughout the day (or even just once) we recommend using the ad preview tool in order to get an unbiased view of Search & Shopping results. You can simulate searches from different locations/devices at the click of a button and also be given reasons why an ad may not be showing, generated by Google’s internal diagnostic tool
- It is important to note that there is no dedicated tool available to preview live ads for Shopping, Remarketing, YouTube, Gmail and Display ads
Should you still struggle with any part of the ad preview tool or understanding the metrics surrounding the visibility of your ads, then you should contact your account manager for advice.