1. Campaigns / ad groups / keywords / ads are on standby
The first step to check is that you haven’t paused something that you don’t want to pause. For an ad to be visible, you must have an active campaign, ad group, keyword, and ad. If any of them are paused, your ads won’t show.
2. Keywords are refused
Google Ads has the right to refuse your keyword if it does not comply with its advertising guidelines. They do not allow advertising of anything related to guns, drugs, cigarettes, pornography, hard liquor, fireworks, etc. Keyword approvals can be verified on the Google Ads platform by clicking on the Keywords tab and checking the keyword status column.
You can consult the advertising policy of Google Ads here.
3. Ads are refused
Ads in your Google Ads account will be rejected if the text does not comply with Google’s advertising guidelines. You can find out why an ad was declined by looking at the « Status » column in the Google Ads platform. Once you resolve the issue raised by Google Ads, it will be reviewed again and become eligible if it determines that the ad is now in compliance with the rules.
You can also request an appeal if you believe the ad was wrongly declined and this will be submitted for re-approval.
4. Negative keyword conflict
Negative keywords exclude search terms to help you target your campaigns. However, when your negative keywords overlap with your standard keywords, your ads may be removed from showing certain search terms that could be useful for your business. Remove those negative keywords to show your ads for more searches.
5. Low search volume
Keywords marked as “low search volume” are associated with very little search traffic on Google and indicate that they are not very relevant to users. Therefore, Google temporarily makes these keywords inactive so that they do not trigger your ads.
If the number of search queries for these keywords increases slightly, they will be reactivated and trigger your ads to show again. Google’s system checks this and updates regularly.
6. Negative bid adjustments
Device auctions allow you to choose which devices to show your ads on. A 100% downward bid adjustment applied to any device will prevent ads from showing on that device. These can be set at the campaign or ad group level, and bid adjustments can be set for desktop, tablet, or mobile. If your campaign isn’t generating impressions, verify that no device bid adjustments are set to -100%.
7. Billing issues
Check that your billing settings are configured correctly. Your credit card may have expired, you may not have transferred credit to your account, etc. If Google has a problem with any of your billing methods, your ads won’t show.
You can check your billing settings in the “Tools and Settings” tab.
8. Low level of quality
Quality Score is a diagnostic tool meant to give you an idea of how good your ad is compared to other advertisers. This score is measured on a scale of 1 to 10 and available at the keyword level. A higher Quality Score means your ad and landing page are more relevant and useful to someone searching for your keyword, compared to other advertisers.
If your quality level is too low, you will see the status « Rarely displayed due to low quality ». This could result in your ads not showing. Improve your Quality Score to make your ads eligible.
Find out how to improve your Quality Score here.
9. Daily budget too low
When thinking about how much budget you want each campaign to spend on a daily basis, you need to consider the number of clicks you are targeting as well as the cost per click.
If your daily budget is £ 5 per day and you want to receive 10 clicks per day and have a cost per click (CPC) of £ 1, you won’t be able to achieve this. In cases where you are in a competitive industry your CPCs can be very high, say £ 7 for example and if you have a daily budget of £ 5 you will not run any ads.
Consider how many clicks per day you are looking for your campaign and adjust the budget accordingly.
10. Bidding below the first page
Google estimates the cost per click (CPC) bid it takes for your ad to appear anywhere on the first page of search results when a search query matches your keyword. They suggest that in order for your ad to show on the first page, you need to bid on that estimated CPC or higher. If you bid below, chances are you won’t see your ad on the first page of search results.
If you’ve completed these steps, you should now be able to see your ads currently running.
If you still don’t see your ads, there may be a bigger issue that needs to be resolved with your Google representative or by contacting Google Ads support.