It’s a common problem: You spend time setting your ad strategy, preparing the creative and launching the campaign. But then, you go to view your ad in all its published glory and can’t find it. You want to shout, “Where is my ad?” and dramatically throw your hands in the air (or maybe that’s just how we’d feel). But, while this can be very frustrating, the good news is there is probably a reasonable explanation. So, ad not showing? Here are the top 10 reasons this might be the case. 


1. Your Ad Is In Review

When new ads are added, Google has to review them before setting them live. Your best bet in this scenario is to practice patience. Google is usually pretty quick with their reviews, so expect it to be live within one business day (but potentially more if it’s a complex ad). 


2. Out Of Range For Geo-Targeting

If you’ve set up your ad for geo-targeting, you’ll bid higher or lower on specific locations so that ads can be specific to people in a certain area. If you are not within this geographic range when you search for your ad, you won’t see it. 

Or, even if you are within the physical radius, you won’t be shown your ad if you’re bidding lower for the traffic. These optimizations to bid up or down are based on performance to ensure users in places that are more likely to convert are shown an ad by bidding higher for their click. 


3. Out of Audience 

The beauty of Google ads is that they can be hyper-targeted, with the ad being shown to a specific audience that fits an exact set of demographics, interests and intent. So, if you personally don’t qualify for the criteria you’ve set for your audience, you won’t be able to see your own ad. 


4. Time of Day 

Based on the time of day and likelihood that leads are to come from historical data, Google’s machine learning can serve or not serve an ad based on what they consider the “best time.” Miss that window and you’ll miss seeing your ad. 


5. Daily Budget Ran Out

By the end of each day, your allotted daily budget for Google ads should be depleted, so your investment is maximized. If you search for your own ad late in the day, there’s a good chance your ad has already been shown enough to drain your daily budget. 

But, if you search earlier in the day and your budget has run out, it could signal a problem. For example, your targeting may be too broad and your ad could have been served to too many unqualified people. Either way, make sure you’ve enabled budget alerts within your Google Ads account so you’ll receive an email when your daily budget has run out – and can stay on top of the reasons why. 


6. Too Many Searches

If you repeatedly search for your own business on Google but don’t click your ad, you may stop seeing it. This is because Google recognizes your computer and stops showing ads that it believes you aren’t interested in. If this happens, you’ll start seeing other ads that Google hopes you’ll actually click on. 


7. You Were Outbid

Google Ads is largely a bidding game. If your ad isn’t appearing when you look for it, it’s likely that a competitor could have outbid you on that particular keyword at the time you bid on it at auction. If the keyword is important to you, you could try increasing your bid slightly next time to see if you win the bid. 


8. Your IP Address May Be Blocked

It sounds strange, but you may have blocked yourself from seeing your ad. Many times, advertisers exclude specific IP addresses in order to limit showing their ad on particular networks they think aren’t likely to be used by their intended audience. For instance, your internal team may look up your website’s search results often, where your ads sometimes show. In this case, you’d want to exclude such IP addresses so you’re not paying for your own employees to see your ads. 


9. You Have A Low-Quality Score For A Keyword

We recently wrote about the almighty Quality Score on Google Ads, so you can check that out in detail here. But in a nutshell, this score relates to how relevant your landing page is to the keyword used in your ad. Google wants to show users the most relevant ads possible, so this is why keyword optimization for landing pages is so important. If you have a low Quality Score, your ad will be deprioritized by Google. 


10. You Didn’t Adjust For Device

Finally, think about how you bid up and down based on the device. We tend to see more leads come through on mobile, for example, so we bid higher for that device. If you’re not making device-specific bids, or making the wrong device-specific bids, you could be hindering your ability to see your own ad on a certain device. 

So, Google ad not showing? More than likely, it’s because of one of these 10 common reasons. The positive part of all this is that nearly all of these explanations mean that your ads are doing what they’re supposed to be doing: targeting and showing up to the people most likely to buy from you. Odds are good you’re not one of those people, so it can actually be a good sign you’re not seeing your own ad. 


Still have questions? We’re here to help you make the most of your Google Ads strategy. Give us a call!