Whilst we completely understand that not being able to see your own ads on Google can cause you to panic that something, somewhere, might not be working, it is worth remembering that there is more often than not a perfectly reasonable explanation as to why this is happening.
Somebody Else is Bidding Aggressively.
When it comes to Google Ads, they have a largely auction-based system. Although that is not the only factor, the maximum that you are prepared to pay per click will play a significant part in if and where you ad will appear. As an example, let’s say that we are willing to pay a maximum of 24p per click to appear against the keyword “2014 Ford Focus”. If another agency or car dealer is willing to pay £6 per click, your ad is unlikely to show for that keyword.
Our advice in that situation? Leave them to pay ridiculous bid prices if they choose to do so – they will not be doing it for long!
Although Google may be really good at geo-locational targeting (only showing your ads to people in your area), internet service providers are not quite so great at identifying where you are. Quite often, you will be seen as being located wherever your internet service provider’s main connection is.
Low Search Volume.
If Google deems your keyword to have very low search volume, it will not show your ad.
Google decides which ad will show depending on a number of factors including your maximum bid price. Google is notorious for inflating these bid prices, often suggesting that you need to bid ridiculous amounts just to appear on page one.
Ad rank is a score that Google gives to a keyword. The higher the score, the more likely you are to appear. However, in new accounts particularly, those scores are often artificially low and improve over time.
Many keywords are the subject of trademarks (in the automotive industry in particular) and so keywords will be flagged as “Eligible (limited)”. This means that Google may prevent certain types of ads from showing in certain regions, to certain ages or on certain devices.
Google is under pressure to ensure that ads are safe and do not violate either UK law or their own policies. Keywords are checked by robots rather than humans and so perfectly innocuous keywords are sometimes flagged as dangerous or as violating policy. Below we have listed some examples.