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Ad Preview Tool

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# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

I have 3 enbaled campaigns, and want to preview one of them... Preview only addresses one of the campaigns, and there's no way to select a different campaign in the Preview tool... Went back and made sure the right campaign was active and did it several times - same result...

1 Expert replyverified_user

Ad Preview Tool

Rising Star
# 2
Rising Star

@Vince G


You don't select campaigns in the ad preview tool.  This is a simulator that lets you select location, language, device, and Google domain. Once you make your desired selection(s), you make queries like regular Google search to see if and where your ad shows without wasting impressions.

Re: Ad Preview Tool

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Thank you for your reply... After many attempts, it sort of dawned on me
that it was more or less independent of campaigns, but if that's the case,
why does it tell me that my bids may not be high enough for the ad to be
shown? Is the Simulator looking at the campaign for the bid?

Another issue is that the simulator returns results that are not consistent
with a real search, using the same keyword, location etc.. When I simulate
a search using one of the keywords in my campaign, it tells me that the ad
will not appear, because the quality is not high enough, perhaps
because the bid is too low. Yet when I try the search in the real world, I
get a Page 1 ad impression.

I'm at the beginning of this Adword process, and impressions are what I
want, since they will show me the appropriate keywords to build into my
site. I actually don't understand what "wasting impressions" means.

There's a lot to learn here, and I need all the help I can get, so thank
you again...

Vince G.

Ad Preview Tool

Badged Google Partner
# 4
Badged Google Partner

Hello @Vince G,

The Ad Preview tool gives the status of your ads and keywords at the time of testing. Therefore, if your ads have stopped showing because your budget is over, or for any other reason, the Ad Preview tool will say that the ad is not showing. 


However, the campaign management page would show impressions and clicks that your keywords have been receiving over the course of the day. It will show you all the clicks and impressions that you have received on any given day from 00:00 until the time you are checking, assuming you haven't got ad scheduling. You may also want to allow 24 hours for the system to update the exact performance statistics for your keywords and ads. Please read more about the Ad Preview tool in this article


Judging by your question, I believe this is the best explanation. However, if you think that there is any anomaly in the way your reports are populating, please feel free to Gogole via Contact Us form. 


Sayem Mustafa

Ad Preview Tool

Rising Star
# 5
Rising Star

@Vince G


Because I use an MCC account, the Ad Preview tool always tells me my ads aren't showing, even though I can clearly see them.  It never gives me a specific reason, it just says "There are a number of reasons why this happens."

So you're saying when you use the tool, you don't see your ad?  

If so, there are a few possible reasons why this might be happening.  One could be personalized search based on your browser history.  The browser shows you've been to your site before, so it shows you an ad for a site you are familiar with.  Another possibility is location targeting settings of competitors. For illustration purposes, let's say you are in Los Angeles California.  You use regular Google search to query "Plumbers in New York City."  You're going to see a set of results.  Now let's say you perform the same query in Ad Preview tool with the location set to New York City.  You are most likely going to see noticeably different set of results.  This is because some advertisers choose "target people in my location only" as their location targeting method.  This means their ads do not trigger for people searching for or show interest in that area.  The Ad Preview tool is showing you results as if you were physically located in New York City.  Another possibility is your budget. It may be that your ad only serves every 1 out of 5 times.

Wasting impressions means when you search regular Google search to see your own ads.  CTR is part of a Quality Score.  If you keep searching to see your ads, you are essentially lowering your CTR which can potentially lower your quality score.

I wouldn't be so worried about what Ad Preview tool is telling you.  I'd focus more on your actual Adwords data. You should make sure that you have added the various Impression Share values in your columns. You can find these in the Competitive Metrics section. More details on how to edit and customize your data columns can be found here:

Impression share is going to tell you the percentage of times your ad served out of how many times it was eligible to be served.  If it's the 1 out of 5 example I gave earlier, then that would be a 20% impression share.  That would not be good.  There is such a thing as stretching a budget too thin.   There is nothing wrong with having a small budget, you just want to make your keyword list more focused so that you get a majority impression share for the keywords that will most likely drive actions/goals/conversions.