ads not showing in preview tool but still getting clicks
I'm confused for 3 reasons
1. My bid is well below google's estimated first page bid
2. My average ad position is 1.2
3. My ads aren't showing up at all in the preview tool
Not complaining that I'm getting clicks for 1/3rd google's estimated CPC but I'm just wondering why this is happening.
Re: ads not showing in preview tool but still getting clicks
The First Page Bid Estimate tells you what you'll need to bid in order for your ads to compete for first page placement for most of the traffic available to your ad. Not bidding up to that estimate doesn't mean your ads will never win an auction, just that they're not likely to win many auctions.
Your ads not showing up in the preview tool could be caused by a lot of factors. It depends on the match type of your keyword(s) and your daily click budget. If you're using, for example, Phrase match keywords, your ads may be triggering for variations of your keyword (the keyword plus a location name or some other variable) but not for the precise keyword itself.
If your daily click budget is low, that would be another reason why you might not see your ads in the preview tool--the campaign may only have enough budget for your ads to compete in auctions once or twice an hour and if they've already won auctions recently, they may not be eligible to show again at that precise moment.
Hope that helps!
Google AdWords Top Contributor