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Why are my Ads not showing for my Display Keywords?

Google Employee
# 1
Google Employee

"Your keyword, combined with other targeting in your ad group, matches very few pages on the Display Network"

You might see this notification sometimes in your Display Network campaign when you hover over the speech bubble in the Status Column under the Display Keywords tab.

Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 12.36.12 AM.png

What does this mean?

This notification concerns campaigns that are targeting Display Network only. Sometimes due to restrictive targeting on the Display Network, there are very few pages that matches all the targeting requirements and hence the ads may not serve all the time resulting in few impressions.

What is “Restrictive Targeting”?

Display Network campaigns work on two models: Target and bid and Bid Only. Lets try to understand how these two models work:

Say you have a display network campaign and you are targeting via keywords and interests in one ad group:

Please note here that one of the targeting methods has to be in Target and Bid only as that is the basis on which your ads are shown. So here lets say we choose keywords to be the basis on which the ads are to be shown.Hence Keywords are in Target and Bid.

Now if you want to target a particular section of the audience and not everyone you keep your second targeting option which is Interests under Target and Bid. So what happens here is that given the interests you choose the system will try to show ads on the basis of keywords on websites in the Google Display Network

Since both the targeting methods are in Target and Bid, sometimes ads might not serve seamlessly due to the restrictive nature of the targeting and you may see this notification. The ads are limited to this section of the audience which fall under your Interests Very few pages might qualify here for the placement of the ads and thus, ads will only show if they qualify for the keywords and Interests.

Same concept holds true for other placements as well.

What is Recommended here?

It is not bad to have targeting options under Target and Bid but that may somehow restrict your reach and you may not many impressions. What is always recommended is to have one targeting option say keywords (on the basis of which you want to show your ads) or any other method under Target and Bid and the targeting options under Bid only.

So in simple terms under Bid only what you are telling the system to do is to give preference to those who qualify for all the targeting options in that ad group and show them ads. However the ads are not restricted to these people. They might show to others as well depending upon which targeting option is placed under Target and Bid.


3 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Why are my Ads not showing for my Display Keywords?

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

A nice simple way of explaining it @Dushyant K, thanks for sharing with the community!

ScottyD, AdWords Top Contributor
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Re: Why are my Ads not showing for my Display Keywords?

Top Contributor
# 3
Top Contributor

Thanks for sharing @Dushyant K!

Neha Gupta, AdWordsTop Contributor Follow Me: My Blog | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn
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