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Why can't I see my ads?

[ Edited ]
Zee Community Manager
Community Manager
# 1
Zee Community Manager
Community Manager

In one day we received 7 clicks and the average position of the ads (according to Google) was 3.6 meaning I should see it on the first page. When I search using the same keywords that received clicks (I am in the targeted area) the ads don't appear at all when I clicks through the first 10 pages. Why would the report show that the ad is appearing on the first or second page but when I search (on the same day as the clicks in question were received) the ads don't show at all?

This popular discussion was copied from the former Help Forum.


The Top Contributor, TAZook replied: 

First, although you don't say that's what you're doing, I assume you're searching 'live' on Google. I would advise against that. Few, if any, advertisers can afford access to 100% of the available search traffic. When your ad is triggered, you want it to be triggered by a customer. 

You should get into the habit of using the Ad Preview Tool (on the Opportunities tab) to run 'live' searches for ads. The Tool mirrors the same results a 'live' search on Google would produce at that moment, but without affecting your campaign's performance or stats, or losing your ad a chance to be seen by a customer.

Second, many factors determine which ads show on which searches. Campaign daily budget, keyword match type, geographic targeting, keyword bid, ad rank, search query, campaign daily spending cap, and a lot of other factors. 

I'd guess that most of the reason advertisers don’t see their own ads when they search for them is because their ads aren't eligible for every search on their keywords during a day. Most campaigns participate in only a percentage of the available ad auctions. (This is an even better reason never to search in the live environment for your own ads. If you do see your ad, the customer who searches thirty seconds later doesn't get the chance to.)

Another main factor, of course, is audience. If you have your ads set to serve on both Google & Search Partner networks, those impressions may have been on Search Partner sites and not on Google at all. If you have your ads set to also show on the Display network those impressions may have been on those sites and not on Google. (If you're not sure what audiences your campaign is serving, you can find out on the Settings tab.)
Hope that helps!



Thanks for the reply. I'm going to try the Ad Preview Tool. I'm still confused why I haven't seen the ads appear since the match type is broad, the daily budget is rarely met, I'm in the geographic targeting, and the campaign runs all day. The campaign also only runs on Google Search Smiley Sad color me confused. 

I'm thinking it could be competition which is fine but I don't see how the ad has a high average positioning when I never get it to appear. 

Thanks again!

I'd guess the fourth paragraph in my first post is the answer.  Especially if you're using Broad match, which invites a wide (and sometimes random) variety of traffic, it's highly unlikely that your campaign is eligible for all the searches available during the day. You may be competing in 10%, 25% or 40% of the available auctions.
And, if your have your campaign set to show ads "evenly" thoughout the day, the program will be trying to conserve your budget to make sure you have funding left at the end of each day, so your ads will show even more slowly, especially if your daily spending cap is low. (Yes, you said your campaign usually doesn't spend the whole daily allotment in a day, but that makes no difference to the program. It will try to conserve budget anyhow and taking the volume of traffic that broad match keywords can generate into account, it may be serving your ads only very rarely.)
You didn't ask my opinion, but if it were me, I'd start with these three things:
1) Avoid broad match. Use phrase and exact match. (At the very most I might experiment with expanded broad match.)  It's always better to stat with the most focused keyword list you can create. Many advertisers go for traffic--they want as much as possible, as fast as possible, but that's a waste of money. Start with precisely what should work best for you, then refine and expand as you go.
2) Check the Dimensions tab--you have very little data to work with so far but you can check what you do have--set the View to Hour of the day and see what time your ads have been triggered and also the costs of those clicks. You may see that your ads are showing more frequently during the very early morning (inexpensive) hours of the day but getting very little traffic during peak (and more expensive) hours. If you enable the IS (Impression Share) columns you'll see how much of the traffic your ads were actually given access to.)
3) Change from "throughout the day" ad serving to "accelerated" - at least for a week or two. That will stop the program from delivering your ads on "slowdown" to conserve budget.  It will also let you evaluate just how much of the daily traffic your campaign budget can actually serve. (After ten days or so, you can check the Hour of the day metric on the Dimensions tab again and see what time of the day your campaign starts running out of budget.)
There are a lot of other optimization tips you can try, but those are where I'd start. Pick your best dozen or two dozen keywords, set them to Phrase and Exact match only, make sure your bids are competitive (or meet the first page bid estimate threshold, at the very least) and see how the campaign performs. Once you have that data, you can analyze it and decide where to go next.
Good luck!


That was beyond a perfect answer. Smiley Happy Thanks so much for the advice. I was thinking of pulling an hour by hour report to see when we get the most clicks and really concentrate there so I think that is a step in the right direction but your advice is even more strategic. 

I really appreciate it!

1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Why can't I see my ads?

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

What a great post!




petebardo -- Deadhead doing AdWords