9 Reasons Why Your Google Ad Doesn’t Show When Searched For

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9 Reasons Why Your Google Ad Doesn't Show When Searched For

You’ve set up your ads and want to confirm that your ad is showing to customers. You search for it, and it’s not there.
Don’t panic! Here are 9 reasons why your Google ad might not be showing:


If you’ve targeted your ad for customers in a specific location, your ad will not be found if you’re searching whilst located outside of this target location. E.g your target location is England, but you are searching from Scotland.
NB: Google uses IP addresses to try and identify location. These are not always 100% correct, so check your IP location.

Competing advertisers

It may be the case that a competing advertiser has out bid you, so their ad will appear above yours. This means that your ad rank may not be high enough for your ad to appear on the first page of a Google search. Your ad may be on a later page depending on your ad rank, which is determined by the quality of your ad and the maximum cost per click bid you’ve set.

Depleted Budget

Once the daily and/ or monthly budget is used up the ad will no longer run. So if other people have already clicking on your ad that day and your budget has been consumed, your ad will not show.

Searched too many times

Google will only show your ad if it believes you will be interested in. Therefore if you repeatedly search for your ad but never actually click on it, Google may presume that you are not interested in the ad. Then decide to stop showing it to you.

Google is reviewing the ad

Each ad that Google permits must comply with Google’s rules, so must be reviewed by Google first. This can take up to five days.

Breach of Google rules

If during the review Google finds that your ad is breaching their rules your ad will be disapproved and will not run. If your ad has been disapproved you will be notified by email. Your ad may have been disapproved due to a disapproved keyword. Google prohibits the advertising of certain products.


The use of negative keywords is generally beneficial for the success of yours ads. However, your ad will not run if you have included any negative key words which nullify the rest of your key words for your ad.


If you have targeted your ad to show to customers when they visit sites on desktop and laptop computers but not whilst using iPhones and Android devices or vice versa instead of targeting all devices your ad will not be found in a search on a non targeted device.

Top Tip: Use the Google AdWords Ad Preview Tool to check your ads. Not only can you simulate searches from different devices & locations, you can view your ads without impacting your impressions, click-through-rate, and quality-score – so ultimately, how much you pay for your ads!

Steven Drummond

Web Analytics & Optimisation
"I love solving the technical & marketing challenges that help our customers win more customers."

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