Google Ads: 7 Reasons Your Text Ads Aren’t Showing in the Search Results

After creating text ads for Google’s Search Network, you’ll probably want to see them in action.

Text ads are triggered by keywords. Searching for a target keyword in your ad group should prompt Google to display one of your text ads in that ad group.

Several issues, however, can prevent you from seeing your text ads. By understanding why your text ads aren’t showing in the search results, you can make the necessary changes to improve your pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns.

1) Ad Blocker

You may not see your text ads if you use an ad blocker. Google Ads is the most popular advertising network on the internet, so ad blockers know how to identify and hide them.

If you use a well-known ad blocker, such as UBlock Origin, it may automatically hide your text ads as well as those of other Google Ads advertisers.

With that said, some ad blockers only hide intrusive ads by default. Since text ads are considered nonintrusive under the Acceptable Ads standard, they aren’t filtered by all ad blockers.

If you believe your ad blocker is hiding your text ads, you’ll need to disable it. Most ad blockers can be disabled for specific websites.

To see your text ads, you must disable your ad blocker for google.com. Once disabled, your web browser will populate with text ads when performing keyword searches on Google.

2) Under Review

All ads created in Google Ads, including text ads for the Search Network, go through a review process.

A Google Ads specialist will manually review your text ads’ headlines, descriptions, display URLs, destination URLs and keywords to ensure they comply with the platform’s terms and conditions. Only after a specialist has reviewed and approved your text ads will they show in Google’s search results.

Google Ads specialists review text ads pretty quickly. You can expect most of your text ads to be reviewed within one business day.

If any of your text ads have been stuck in limbo for over two business days, you can contact the Google Ads team at support.google.com/google-ads/contact/approval_request for assistance.

3) Bidding Too Low

The amount you bid for clicks will affect whether you and other Google users see your text ads. If you bid too low on a keyword, your text ads for that keyword may not show.

The Search Network uses an auction-based format where advertisers specify the maximum amount of money they are willing to spend per click for a given keyword. Known as a cost-per-click bid, it influences where your text ads rank compared to other advertisers’ text ads.

If you’re vying for clicks from the same keyword as dozens of other advertisers, you may need to raise your cost-per-click bid. Google’s search results only offer a few placements for text ads.

For most keyword searches, Google shows a maximum of four text ads at the top and a maximum of three text ads at the bottom. A low cost-per-click bid will bury your text ads multiple pages deep where they are difficult to find. Instead, Google will show your competitors’ text ads on the first page.

4) Negative Keywords

Bidding on negative keywords may prevent you from seeing your text ads. Negative keywords are designed to filter text ad impressions when used in a search query.

In other words, if your search query contains a negative keyword, you won’t see your text ads for it. The search query may still contain one of your target keywords, but the presence of a negative keyword will prevent Google from serving your text ads for it.

You can view an ad group’s negative keywords in Google Ads by clicking the “Keywords” tab in the main menu and selecting “Negative Keywords”. If an ad group has negative keywords in it, you’ll need to exclude them from your queries when searching for your text ads.

5) Geotargeting

Geotargeting is an advertising feature that allows you to selectively target specific regions with your text ads.

If you’re advertising a product or service that’s only available to users in a specific region, you can use it to filter meaningless clicks that would otherwise consume your budget. With geotargeting enabled, though, you won’t see your text ads unless you are located in one of the targeted regions.

Geotargeting is a campaign-level feature in Google Ads. When enabled, Google will apply it to all your ad groups within the respective campaign.

To see your text ads, you’ll need to create a separate campaign that doesn’t use geotargeting.

6) Low Quality Score

A low Quality Score can prevent you from seeing your text ads. In the past, Google ranked text ads strictly by cost-per-click bid. While it still evaluates cost-per-click bids, Google now uses a more complex ranking formula that includes Quality Scores. If you have a low Quality Score, your text ads may rank low, or they may not rank at all.

Google will assign a Quality Score to each of your keywords. It ranges from one to 10. You can improve a keyword’s Quality Score by using a highly relevant landing page and creating text ads that compel users to click them.

7) Billing Problems

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that billing problems can prevent your text ads from showing. Google doesn’t serve text ads for free.

Google Ads is the search engine’s main money-making product, so it requires payment from advertisers. If you’ve set up automatic payments but your payment didn’t go through, Google will stop serving your text ads.

You can view billing problems by logging in to your Google Ads account and selecting the tools icon. From here, select “Summary” under “Billing.” If your payment didn’t go through, you can enter a new payment method to get your text ads back up and running.

Wrapping Up

If you don’t see your text ads in the search results, try not to panic. Maybe you’re using an ad blocker, or perhaps your text ads are still under review. Once you’ve determined the reason your text ads aren’t showing, you can fix it.

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