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Find Out Why Your Google AdWords Ads May Not Appear

If you’re spending a lot of money on advertising through Google and you’re struggling to find your advert, read this article. There are a number of reasons why your PPC advert may not be showing. You’re not alone either, a lot of companies are in the same boat and are eager to see the goods.…

Google AdWords adIf you’re spending a lot of money on advertising through Google and you’re struggling to find your advert, read this article. There are a number of reasons why your PPC advert may not be showing. You’re not alone either, a lot of companies are in the same boat and are eager to see the goods.

There are a number of legitimate reasons why you can’t find your advert. Let me take you through some sanity checks to help draw a conclusion why your Google AdWords ads may not be appearing when conducting a search:

Keyword Targeting Checks

First off, a simple check to see if the keywords you are searching for within Google’s search engine is in your Google AdWords account. Head to your keyword list and have a look through to see if you can find the keyword you’re targeting. Use the search box to type the keyword you’re using for a quicker outcome.

If you’re not targeting the keyword that you originally searched within Google AdWords, then your advert will not appear. Feel free to add the keyword to a relevant ad group to ensure that your advert shows for this keyword in future.

Make sure that you also check your negative keywords list. The search query you used may have a keyword within the phrase which is in your negative keyword list and is blocking that advert from showing. For example, if you searched ‘Electricians in Manchester’ and you had ‘Manchester’ as a negative keyword then this will stop your advert from showing.

If you do find a negative keyword conflict for a search query that you wish to appear for then just simply remove the keyword from your negative keyword list.

Lastly, another Google AdWords keyword check is to look out for any keyword disapprovals. Google does not permit advertising products or websites related to drugs, firearms, cigarettes and pornography to name a few. Therefore, if your company is a part of any of these industries, then, unfortunately, Google AdWords and PPC isn’t for you!

Budget Depletion

Your campaign may have ran out of budget for the day resulting in your advert being unable to serve until the following morning. Have a look at the campaign budget which your keyword is situated within and have a look to see if the spend is equal or greater than the intended budget. Google can sometimes increase your daily budget by 100% when there is good quality traffic generated so don’t worry if the spend is higher than your budget.

If you’re using smaller budgets for higher traffic keywords then Google may only serve your advert once in 25 searches or even once in 100 searches depending on demand. If your adverts were shown 24/7 for high traffic keywords, then your campaign could end up spending thousands of pounds per day. Therefore, Google tries to evenly spread your advert out throughout the day in-line with your budget.

Disapproved adverts

This is quite common in Google AdWords. Some of your adverts may be disapproved because they don’t adhere to Google’s ad text policy. You can check the status of a disapproved ad within your Google AdWords account by going into your ads section and filtering by ‘Status’.

Your status will be Approved, Disapproved or Approved (Limited). The limited approval means that your advert is eligible to run, but not in all situations. If the ad is disapproved, just hover over the speech bubble or click the question mark and Google will provide you with further detail on why the advert was disapproved and how to resolve this if eligible.

Location Targeting and Settings

Another reason your Google AdWords advert may not be showing up is due to what locations you’re targeting as part of your PPC campaigns. You may be typing your query into Google’s search engine outside your catchment area.

Your location settings within your campaigns could be set as ‘people in my targeted location’ rather than ‘People in, searching for, or who show interest in my targeted location’. This means that if you are outside your location radius and you search for your service with the business location you are based, your advert will not show up. Your advert would only show up if you were physically within the location radius you set for your campaign.

Also, look out for excluded locations. You may have excluded locations to stop your advert from appearing in certain regions. Go to the location settings of your AdWords account to see if you are searching from one of your exclusions.

Declined Payments

Take a look through the billing section of your Google AdWords account. Review your billing information to confirm all details are correct such as credit card number, expiration date, address etc. If Google has any issues with your billing such as missing information or missed payments then your adverts will not serve.


I hope this article has given you an idea of why your advert may not be showing and where to check on Google AdWords for discrepancies. If you don’t manage your PPC account, then ask your dedicated PPC account manager to undertake a quick audit on your behalf.

It’s also good to have some patience in these situations. Google can take up to 5 days to approve a re-submitted advert or keyword which has been disapproved. Also, the more you live Google searches you conduct, the less likely you’re going to be able to see your advert. It is recommended to use the ad preview and diagnosis tool within Google AdWords instead of carrying out live searches.

If you’re a PPC customer with Yell then they will provide you with an ad preview link where you can search for your adverts without live searching. This enables you to have full visibility of what your advert looks like in front of your customers without affecting your statistics.

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